Capitol Correspondence - 02.02.21

ANCOR Joins Coalition Follow Up Letter to HHS Nominee

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As part of a continuing discussion with the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra, ANCOR joined 19 other organizations in a coalition letter from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) regarding the disability community’s health policy priorities in 2021. As stated in the letter:

“For the past eleven months our organizations and others have engaged in coordinated advocacy to ensure critical needs of disabled people, our families, and our service providers were addressed in coronavirus relief packages. Despite this great effort, our needs have been largely ignored by Congress. Further, while the coronavirus pandemic would pose significant challenges to any administration, many of the difficulties faced during COVID-19 have been caused by a lack of leadership and responsiveness of the previous administration when addressing the pandemic and the needs of disabled people. This pattern of behavior is not unique to the COVID-19 pandemic period, but rather reflective of the posture the Trump Administration often took for the past four years, during which the lives and rights of disabled people were all too frequently under attack. Our organizations have come together to submit a number of urgent recommendations to save lives, change the trends for COVID-19, and continue to advance civil rights and community integration for all.”

The letter proceeds to list the following priorities:

  • Saving the lives of individuals with disabilities during the pandemic.
  • Ensuring the disability community accesses COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Ensuring non-discriminatory health care delivery.
  • Capturing more disability-specific data.
  • Ensuring equitable access to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and strengthening the HCBS program.
  • Reversing harmful policies.
  • Strengthening enforcement of the HCBS Settings Rule.
  • Delaying electronic visit verification.
  • Ensuring the alignment of HHS and Department of Justice policy on mental issues.
  • Increasing the focus of the Administration on Community Living on disability issues.
  • Increasing access to technology.