AUCD Legislative News In Brief

September 30, 2013

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  September 30, 2013   |  Vol. XIII, Issue 39
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Congressional Schedule

Both houses of Congress are in session this week and are expected to continue to volley different versions of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. The House remained in session this weekend to pass a continuing resolution that would delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year. Read on in the Appropriations section for more details.


The House and Senate have spent the week volleying back and forth competing resolutions to continue funding the federal government when the fiscal year ends at midnight tonight. Last Friday, the House approved a short-term (six-week) continuing resolution (CR) that prohibited discretionary funding of the Affordable Care Act (for more information see last week's In Brief). The Senate (after a very long speech by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)) voted to approve the CR but removed the language stripping funds for the implementation of the ACA. Over the weekend, the House approved another six-week CR that would instead delay implementation of the ACA for one year and repeal an ACA tax on medical devices. Just today, the Senate passed the CR but again removed the language regarding the ACA.  AUCD staff continue to monitor the situation, but at the end of the business day today it looks as if a shutdown is near. For more information, the Washington Post has a history of government shutdowns and information on what a "shutdown" actually means.

AUCD network members should have received instructions from project officers regarding operations during the shutdown. For more news, both the New York Times and Washington Post are providing minute-by-minute updates.

ACA: Countdown to Open Enrollment

Days until open enrollment begins: 1

With or without a government shutdown, open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplaces begins tomorrow and even if a provision passes to defund all or parts of the ACA the enrollment will go forward and the Medicaid expansion (which is mandatory funding) would not be affected. Unfortunately, polls continue to show that most people - including those without health insurance - remain unaware that the marketplaces will open tomorrow or that the marketplaces would allow them to shop for coverage. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have compiled resources for those interested in helping their communities understand the law and the nonprofit group Enroll America has state-specific information. For even more resources, see AUCD's In Brief Special Edition on ACA Implementation Resources and the Health Reform Hub.

AUCD's Health Reform Workgroup presented a webinar last week on the beginning of open enrollment, what the Marketplaces and Medicaid expansion mean for people with disabilities, and opportunities to improve new health insurance options for people with disabilities at the state level. It is now archived in the AUCD webinar library.

Tomorrow, Rachel Patterson from AUCD will be tweeting ACA news and updates throughout the day. Follow her at @racheljpat.

Older Americans Act

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee plans to mark up a bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act on Wednesday, October 2. The current draft bill includes provisions that would improve programs serving older adults and people with disabilities, including allowing Long-Term Care Ombudsman to serve all residents of long-term care facilities regardless of age, services for aging parents supporting their adult children with disabilities through the National Family Caregivers Support Program, and improving Aging and Disability Resource Center collaboration with local agencies and organizations on home and community-based options for long-term services and supports and their emphasis on independent living.

International Disability Rights

On Monday, September 23, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on disability and development. He spoke about the progress the United States has made with laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and emphasized the importance of people with disabilities in US international development policy. He said, "Through our development agenda, we have a very important opportunity to show the world that we value everyone's contributions, and that we leave no one behind, including those with disabilities...The principle behind this is really very, very simple: Our societies, all of our societies, are stronger when every single one of our citizens, able bodied and disabled alike, all get to live up to their full potential." His full remarks are available on the State Department website. The full General Assembly meeting on disability and development is available on the UN website.

40th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a symposium last Thursday celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act. The symposium featured presentations from disability rights advocates related to the "Past, Present, and Future" of the Act and employment for people with disabilities. At the event, Senator Harkin announced the release his report on employment, "High Expectations: Transforming the American Workforce as the ADA Generation Comes of Age." The Department of Education also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act with an event called "Forty Years of Learning Under Section 504". Speakers included current and former students with disabilities and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. 


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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