Disability Policy News

October 26, 2020

Disability Policy News logo, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Disability Policy News logo, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
                 October 26, 2020   |   Vol. MMXX, Issue 43

Seal of Supreame Court  a traditional seal, which is similar to the Great Seal of the United States, but which has a single star beneath the eagle's claws— symbolizing the Constitution's creation of U.S. Supreme Court

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court to the full Senate. The vote was split along party lines, 12-0, with all 12 Republican Senators on the Committee voting to advance her nomination. All 10 Democratic Senators boycotted the vote, and instead placed pictures of people who benefit from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in their seats to highlight the upcoming Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of the ACA. The full Senate began its deliberations on Judge Barrett's nomination on Friday and will hold a final vote today. She is expected to be confirmed.

Plain language:

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move forward with Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. She will most likely be voted to the Supreme Court by the full Senate today. AUCD does not support her nomination because she has said she would make a ruling to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.

What this means to you:
  • Judge Amy Coney Barrett is likely to be confirmed to the Supreme Court today and it is very possible that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed. Millions of people with disabilities and their families would lose health care access and protections if the ACA is repealed.
Action Steps:

  • Read AUCD's statement opposing the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court.
  • Watch the Community Call hosted by AUCD with Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) on the importance of the Affordable Care Act for the disability community and all Americans.
  • Learn more about the process of picking a Supreme Court Justice with our Plain Language guide.
  • Read a synopsis of Judge Barrett's record on issues affecting people with disabilities from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.
  • Learn about the upcoming Supreme Court Case on the ACA, California v. Texas.
    • Read the Amicus Brief on the case from the disability community, including AUCD.
    • Learn more about how the Affordable Care Act benefits individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in this post by The Arc.
  • Read the full Action Alert from AUCD for more details on how to contact your Senators and what to say when you do.
  • Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091 (tty) and ask to be connected to your Senators.
    • You can use this easy tool to find your Senators, including local office numbers.

    This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically.COVID-19

    Negotiations on a COVID-19 relief bill continued to no avail last week between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. While both the Republican and Democratic negotiators reported progress, the negotiations continue to stall around liability shields from coronavirus-related lawsuits and financial aid for state and local governments. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has not participated in negotiations thus far, plans to call a second vote on the ‘skinny' relief bill that failed in the Senate earlier this month. It is unlikely that any COVID-19 relief bills will pass before Election Day.

    Plain language:

  • Speaker Pelosi and the White House continue to talk about COVID-19 relief, but it is extremely unlikely that Congress will pass any additional COVID-19 relief before the November 3rd election.
What this means to you:

  • It is unlikely that Congress will pass a COVID-19 relief bill that includes funding to help people with disabilities and the people who support them. You can call or email Congress to tell them about how COVID-19 has changed your life, for example your housing, services, health, school, or work. Every call and email matters.

  • Action steps:

  • Read the Action Alert from AUCD for more details on how to contact your members of Congress and what to say when you do.
  • Email or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091(tty) and ask to be connected to your Senators and Representatives.
    • You can use this easy tool to find your members of Congress.
  • Share AUCD's top priorities and your stories about the impact of COVID-19 on your life with your members of Congress.
  • When talking about the critical need for HCBS dollars you may wish to share the study, COVID-19 Mortality Risk in Down Syndrome: Results From a Cohort Study Of 8 Million Adults, that found that people with Down syndrome have 10 times the risk of dying from Covid-19 compared to those without Down syndrome. This data shows how important it is that people can be in their homes and communities and not in congregant settings where the risk of COVID infection is significantly higher.

  • list with check marks

    Presidential Campaign 2020

    President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden participated in the second and final Presidential Debate on Thursday. The debate was moderated by Kristen Welker, a White House Correspondent with NBC, and held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Of note, The Commission on Presidential Debates changed the debate rules in advance to allow each candidate to speak for two minutes uninterrupted for each of the six debate themes. This was the final debate before the election on November 3rd. 

Action steps:

    Action steps:

  • If you are choosing to vote absentee by mail or drop box, now is the time to fill out and return your ballot to make sure it is counted!
  • Create a voting plan that meets your needs, reach out for help if you run into a barrier or need more information.
  • Reach out to friends and family to make sure they have a voting plan and the information they need to overcome any barriers.
  • Have questions about your ballot or how to vote? Call the national, nonpartisan Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
  • Share why you vote with AUCD.

    logo of AUCD Policy Talk Policy Talk

    This week on AUCD Policy Talk, we share posts by two leaders in the AUCD network: 

  • ‘It's time to save healthcare - again.': Rylin Rodgers, AUCD Director of Public Policy, shares what the Affordable Care Act means for her, her family, and all Americans, and why we need to save it from repeal efforts. 
  • ‘It's not too late to make a difference this election in your state and local races.': Greg Boris, the Senior Leadership and Policy Specialist at the University of South Dakota's Center for Disabilities, encourages everyone looking to make a difference this election cycle to think local in these final weeks of campaigning. 
  • Action steps:

  • Do you have a personal or professional connection to policies impacting people with disabilities? We invite you to share your story with us: 

    Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz Weintraub

    Tuesdays With Liz

    On this week's vintage #TWL, Liz talks with Neil Romano, Chairman of the National Council On Disability (NDC), about the role of the Council and its impact on people with disabilities. For more information on NDC, visit www.ndc.gov.


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