Capitol Correspondence - 05.03.21

Roundup: ANCOR’s Coalition Advocacy Seeking Federal Disability Funding

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As part of our work with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and Partnership for Medicaid (P4M) coalitions, ANCOR has signed onto the following efforts advocating for Congress to allocate federal disability funding.

CCD letter seeking $50 million in appropriations for the Assistive Technology (AT) Act Programs. As explained in the letter: “The AT Act programs provide critical funding to ensure people with disabilities can access and acquire the assistive technology devices and services they need to live, work, and attend school in their communities.  During the COVID pandemic, these services are even more greatly needed and in high demand to address social isolation, remote learning and working, and much more.  The AT Act programs are one of the few disability programs to not receive any additional funding in the COVID relief and stimulus bills enacted thus far to support the increased demand for their direct services, and the programs are in dire need of additional financial support.”

CCD letter requesting adequate funding for eight disability programs. Specifically, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act), Assistive Technology Act, Autism CARES Act, the Lifespan Respite Care Act, and Kevin and Avonte’s Law, as well as the National Family Caregiver Support Program and Parent Information Centers. The letter states: “The upcoming year presents unique challenges for people with I/DD. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the lives of Americans with I/DD on many levels. In every state and territory, developmental disability systems including federal agencies, state developmental disability agencies, and an array of non-profit disability membership and advocacy organizations have pivoted to meet crisis-related needs of people with disabilities and their families in all parts of their lives. Within these systems, the programs listed in this letter addressed emergency threats to health, education, employment, and community living for people with I/DD.”

P4M letter in support of the SAME Act. The States Achieve Medicaid Expansion (SAME) Act would allow states that did not immediately expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) access to the same level of increased federal financial support offered to states that chose to expand immediately. ANCOR supports this legislation because it would stabilize state Medicaid funding overall, thereby reducing pressure on state governments to cut funding for optional Medicaid disability programs to meet the increased costs of the COVID-19 pandemic.