AUCD Legislative News In Brief

August 24, 2009

Health Care

Congress is in recess until September 8. Due to the well-publicized disruptions of Members' town hall meetings by opponents of health care reform, many Members have moved their town halls online or to teleconference calls.  Meanwhile key leadership in both the House and Senate continue to work on resolving outstanding issues.  The Senate Finance Committee's three Democratic and three Republican negotiators have continued to meet over the recess with the goal of having a bill for mark-up by mid-September.  Updated fact sheets and side by sides are available on the AUCD website to try to help educate the network and the public about how the current House and Senate proposals impact people with disabilities.  The AUCD website also contains information and an action alert related to the impact of health care reform on individuals with disabilities.

Social Security

The trustees who oversee Social Security are forecasting that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the next two years. Monthly payments would drop for millions of people in the Medicare prescription drug program because the premiums, which often are deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to rise slightly. Individuals with disabilities face higher prices because they spend a disproportionate amount of their income on health care, whose cost is rising faster than inflation. A formal update is expected in mid-October when the Social Security Administration typically reports on the up-coming COLA amounts.

H1N1 Flu Virus

AUCD staff will participate, along with other disability advocacy organizations, in a meeting regarding the H1N1 virus and to discuss specific concerns for the disability community sponsored by White House officials this week.  Along with White House officials, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services are expected to provide information and updates.


AUCD submitted comments regarding the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the Medicaid Program: Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requested input on how to improve the Medicaid waivers to ensure that the funds are going to provide services in the community and increase flexibility to states to serve people based on functional limitations rather than diagnosis.  For more information see the AUCD website where the final comments are posted under resources.

AUCD Policy Fellowship

AUCD is seeking applicants for the policy fellowship, a yearlong opportunity for mid-level career network members and LEND trainees, to contribute to the field of disability policy at the national level.  Activities include but are not limited to policy and legislative development, advocacy, program development, technical assistance, and association administration.  A full description and application instructions are located on the AUCD website.  Applications are currently being accepted.  The position will be open until filled.