On the ACA repeal front, House leadership has issued a policy brief calling for “A Better Way” to repeal and replace the ACA. NASUAD’s guide to budget reconciliation and The Commonwealth Fund’s fact sheet on Medicaid Block Grants are helpful resources. Also, the Kaiser Family Foundation has a new side by side tool that compares the various proposals that are in circulation and a four-minute video that breaks down the budget reconciliation process. Lastly, Connie Garner and Rodney Whitlock issued a joint op-ed on LTSS.
A few of the bills that we’ve monitored in the past have been reintroduced on the Hill, and we have some new ones to examine. An updated summary of bills is on our website. We recently supported a bill by Senator Coons that addresses the taxation of student loan forgiveness for a disabled person.
The DeVos Department of Education has been a hectic and confusing place. Secretary DeVos has instructed state officials to proceed with implementing ESSA regulations, and the IDEA website was under construction for a week.
We are starting to see an increased use of a particular Congressional maneuver in the House designed to rollback regulations. Two weeks ago, H.J. Res 37 was the resolution disability advocates were watching. Now H.J. Res 57 marks the first time the House has voted to overturn a regulation of the Department of Education. It pertains to the accountability regulation of ESSA, which protects students with disabilities.
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, and North Carolina have recently launched qualified ABLE programs, bringing the total number of states with ABLE programs to 16. They are all part of the National ABLE Alliance, which offers six different investment options.
The Autism Self Advocacy Network has put together a toolkit for self-advocates.
The Kennedy Center has issued a call for contract proposals to organizations providing arts education services to students with disabilities.
1) CMS has issued a NPRM regarding individual and small group marketplace insurance stability. A press release summarizing the rule can be found here. Comments are due by March 7th, and UCP national will look for an opportunity to sign on to any group comments that are circulated.
2) CMS is hosting a webinar tomorrow afternoon (2/22) about the Disability Competent Care model and Access. On March 22nd, the topic will be LTSS.
1) Call for Sessions for the 2017 National Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Conference, August 28- August 31, 2017 in Baltimore, MD.
2) CQL will have a webinar on March 14th.
The Lead Center is hosting a webinar on February 28th about recent changes to WIOA Section 188.
The Ruderman Family Foundation recently issued a white paper in support of self-driving vehicles.
1) NIDILRR Seeks Comment on Draft Long-Range Plan
The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is requesting comments on its draft long-range plan for the period 2018-2023.
This long-range plan provides an overview of the state of people with disabilities in the United States and NIDILRR’s current investments and potential future directions for research grants. NIDILRR is publishing the draft plan to obtain public comment on the proposed research and development activities to help the agency fulfill its mission.
Read the NIDILRR draft long-range plan.
Comments will be accepted by email to NIDILRRfuture@acl.hhs.gov by close of business on Monday, March 20.