Action Alert: COVID-19

May 13, 2020



Action Alert: COVID-19
Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act)

On Tuesday May 12, 2020, Congressional House leadership introduced legislative language for a proposed "Package 4" of COVID-19 relief.  This 1,815 page bill is a look at Democratic priorities for Package 4.

Links to details

The text of the bill, called the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800), is here. A one-pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. A one-pager on the state and local relief provisions is here.

AUCD's first look at Disability Priorities

The bill includes several key priorities of the disability community:

  • Home and Community Based Services investment to support wages, services, leave, and related critical needs to support access to home and community based services.  
  • $10,000,000 for Developmental Disabilities Act Programs
  • $10 Billion additional for nutrition services and increased flexibility to support greater access for people with disabilities
  • Requirement for CDC Field Study Pertaining to Health Inequities   
    • Specifically: "the impact of disability status on health care access and disease outcomes"

Timelines and Next Steps:

  • The House is expected to pass the HEROES Act along party lines as early as Friday, May 15th. This can be seen as a starting point for negotiations.
  • Senate leadership has not yet expressed an interest in "taking up" or considering the legislation. It may be the case that they do not consider this bill as part of their Package 4. Senate action may come in June or later. 

Action Steps:

You are experiencing the real impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities, their families  and the systems that serve them. Your expert knowledge is needed to ensure that these needs are addressed in Package 4. You can make a difference by:

  1. Sharing AUCD's top priorities with your university's or organization's Legislative Affairs staff and asking them to advocate for critical priorities
  2. Educating members of your Congressional delegation about the efforts you have undertaken to respond to COVID-19 and the real impacts your are seeing
  3. Using your personal contacts to ask members to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are part of Package 4

The AUCD policy team is happy to support your efforts.  We can:

  • Give you the names and email addresses of staffers in your Congressional Delegations
  • Share with your Congressional Delegation how you are responding to COVID-19 and ask them for support
    • Send [email protected] an email with a few examples of how you are responding and our team will do the ask of your Congressional delegation
  • Answer any questions you have