AUCD Legislative News In Brief

April 1, 2013

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  April 1, 2013   |  Vol. XIII, Issue 13
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Congressional Schedule

The House and Senate are both in recess for Passover/Easter. The Senate returns April 8 and the House returns April 9.

Senate Votes on Budget Resolution

When the Senate voted on March 23 to pass the Concurrent Budget Resolution, they also took numerous symbolic votes on issues ranging from health care to gun control. AUCD has catalogued the votes important to people with disabilities and the network in the Action Center under "Key Votes". Visit the Action Center to see how your Senators voted on issues like repealing the ACA and converting Medicare to a premium support model.

Tom Perez Nominated Secretary of Labor

President Obama has nominated Tom Perez, current head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, to be the next Secretary of Labor. At the Civil Rights Division, Mr. Perez has been a champion for people with disabilities, particularly on issues of Olmstead implementation, ADA compliance, and integrated employment. Prior to joining the DOJ, Mr. Perez served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Mr. Perez may face opposition from some in the Senate who think the division has been too aggressive in pursuing a civil rights agenda. AUCD has signed on to a Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) letter supporting Mr. Perez's nomination.

Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act

On Wednesday March 20,  Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) introduced Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act (H.R. 218). The bill reauthorizes programs through the Health Resources and Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institute of Health to improve and expand screening, track outcomes, conduct research, and educate parents and health care providers. The bill would also ensure the continuing operation of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, whose charter will expire in April if the act is not reauthorized. The Committee provides states with the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel to help insure that every infant is screened for conditions which have a known treatment.

Medicaid Expansion Updates

The past weeks have brought many changes to the fate of the Medicaid expansion. While House Republicans have introduced another bill to repeal the Medicaid Expansion in the Affordable Care Act, many states are moving toward expanding the program. Arkansas has made news by proposing that the state not expand Medicaid but use Federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance through the state's Exchange (which it has proposed to operate in partnership with the Federal government). Upon hearing that HHS might be open to the idea, other Republican-led states have shown interest in the idea, particularly in Missouri. The governors of Ohio and Florida have shown support for the expansion, but faced opposition by their state legislatures. In Louisiana, an independent study has reported to the governor that expanding Medicaid would actually save the state money. In North Dakota and Indiana, bills to expand Medicaid are making their way through state legislatures. The governor of Pennsylvania will meet with Secretary Sebelius this week to discuss the expansion. The Kaiser Family Foundation has produced an infographic on how the expansion will impact low-income and uninsured adults, and Families USA and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have each gathered substantial resources explaining and advocating for the Expansion.

Policy Seminar

The Disability Policy Seminar is in two weeks! AUCD's trainee symposium and reception will be held on Sunday night from 4-7:30pm. Delivering the keynote address on Monday morning will be Judy Feder, a nationally-recognized expert and leader in health policy and appointee to the new Long Term Care Commission.  After two days of learning about Medicaid, Social Security, Employment, Education, Health Care and Asset Development, advocates will meet with members of Congress and their staff. The day starts with a Wednesday morning coffee kick off to the hill day. Senators Barasso (R-WY) and Brown (D-OH) have confirmed that they will attend the coffee, and Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Harkin (D-IA) have also been invited. AUCD hosted a webinar orientation (now archived) for students, trainees, and early career professionals to get ready for the DPS. Don't forget to schedule your hill visits and visit to learn more about the seminar.


For more policy news, follow Kim and Rachel on Twitter at @kmusheno and @racheljpat

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD's Glossary of Legislative Terms.

For copies of this and previous issues of Legislative News In Brief please visit the Public Policy Page of the AUCD website:



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