Major Recent Events
Budget & Appropriations: Senate Republicans Release FY 2020 Budget Resolution With Instructions That Could Affect Medicaid
On March 22, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a draft budget resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The budget proposes to reduce the deficit by $538 billion over five years compared to current law, primarily through reductions in mandatory spending. Additionally, it provides reconciliation instructions for five committees to reduce the deficit by a total of $94 billion. To learn more about the budget proposal, see the committee website. Unlike the president’s budget, budget resolutions in the House and Senate can be enacted and have the force of law. While the Senate budget is not nearly as extreme as the president’s budget, it’s inclusion of reconciliation instructions is the first step to developing legislation that could change the structure and financing of the Medicaid program. The House would need to pass the identical measure for such legislation to be developed.
Tax Policy: ABLE Age Adjustment Act Reintroduced in House
On March 18, Representatives Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Michael Turner (R-OH), Max Rose (D-NY), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) reintroduced the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (H.R.1814). This bill amends the Stephen J. Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act to increase the maximum age of onset limit from before 26 to before 46. Its companion bill, S.651, was introduced in the Senate on March 5. The Arc supports the ABLE Age Adjustment Act.
Miscellaneous: Attend the Disability Policy Seminar on April 8-10
The 2019 Disability Policy Seminar is now only two weeks away! This is the premier event for bringing the issues and concerns of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to Capitol Hill. Join other passionate advocates and professionals from around the country to get up to date on the latest policy issues and legislation and to advocate for the programs that people with disabilities rely on to live and work in the community! Register here!
ANCOR has just learned that the House of Representatives will vote at 5:30pm ET today (March 25) on H.R. 1839, a bill to give the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program an extra $20 million dollars to extend its operations through the fall, pending a longer-term agreement.
The Details: Currently, the MFP program is operating on a 3-month funding package which was slated to run out in April, although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently assessed that states will be able to stretch out this funding until September. Today’s vote is to give the program extra funding to be stable during negotiations for a longer-term renewal, such as a five-year renewal or making the program permanent. ANCOR has heard from Congressional allies that this longer-term renewal will be proposed in the fall – please stay tuned for more advocacy opportunities on MFP this summer!
MFP is an important rebalancing program which has so far helped over 85,000 people with disabilities and/or chronic conditions who have asked to move out of state-run institutions live instead with the community with their family and peers. Because of its importance in supporting the inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream society, renewal of the MFP program is a policy priority for ANCOR, and ANCOR has been a leader on this topic in the Congress.
Have an extra minute? Please share your support for MFP on social media, using #FUNDMFP. We have sample social media at the end of this article.
PACC is a member of PAR
PAR collectively represents the majority of autism and intellectual disability services and supports in Pennsylvania. PAR Provider Members provide nearly $2 billion of community services and supports to individuals who have intellectual disability or autism in Pennsylvania, along with their families. Our members support tens of thousands of people in nearly 9,000 locations throughout the state and employ over 50,000 Pennsylvanians including a large Direct Support Professional Workforce.
Visit the PAR website to see the latest in advocacy and legislation.
Tell your Senator to vote YES for the ACE Kids Act!
Pennsylvania’s Intellectual Disability and Autism system is facing a workforce crisis where over 8500 Direct Support Professional (DSP) positions turn over each year and 3500 positions are vacant.
Direct Support Professionals are required to provide amazing service with the love and care of a family member. They are required to complete many
PACC cannot find enough people to fill our own vacancies in our DSP positions!
As of June 30th, 2018 there were 13,532 total people with intellectual disabilities on the waiting list for services in Pennsylvania.
As of June 30th, 2018 there were 3,252 total people in Pennsylvania on the waiting list for autism services.
Your VOTE can show legislators how important it is to you to END the waiting list for these life-altering services. Follow the link in the heading to learn more about the legislators that are dedicated to ending the waiting list!
It is too late to register as a first-time voter if you want to vote in the November election. HOWEVER, register NOW for the NEXT election in May!