Capitol Correspondence - 11.13.18

New Year, New Policies: What Are Opportunities for the I/DD Community in the 116th Congress?

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THE BIG SHIFT: As written by Politico Pro, but echoed across media outlets such as Fortune, the “Democrats’ House victory on a strong health care message also represents a firewall against Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare or cap Medicaid spending for at least the next two years.” Which means that ANCOR members will be able to transition from defensive advocacy to being pro-active, advancing priorities such as:

  • Addressing continuing challenges with the implementation of the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) statute – read more.
  • Turning the tide around on the DSP workforce crisis – see ANCOR’s proposals.
  • Obtaining a “medically underserved population” designation for people with disabilities – see our one-pager.

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS – THE BIG POLICY PICTURE: Expect this new House to be very busy, with key Democratic leaders signaling a focus on:

  • FIXES such as strengthening certain Affordable Care Act provisions and safeguarding pre-existing conditions protections;
  • CAMPAIGN PROMISES such as an infrastructure bill. In the health care realm this includes bills on drug pricing and eliminating “surprise” medical invoices;
  • FIGHTS on setting the budget with the President and Senate Republicans. And even bigger fights as the Democratic majority leans into the House’s oversight role through hearings on Administration policies and actions.

The Senate likewise will be very occupied with nominations, from high-profile ones such as the replacement for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to a flood of judicial nominations for lower courts. How acrimonious these nominations become will depend on the outcomes of still-pending Senate races in Arizona and Florida, which will determine the size of the Republican margin in the Senate, which the party controls.

AND MEDICAID IN ALL OF THIS? Medicaid has become a much larger part of the national conversation, being set to add potentially another half-million individuals to its rolls following referenda in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah which instituted Medicaid expansion in those states. Montana was the only state of the four with Medicaid expansion referenda to reject the proposal. Additionally, with Democratic candidates moving into the gubernatorial mansions in Kansas, Maine and Wisconsin, those states might also soon expand their Medicaid programs. The Kaiser Family Foundation has more to say about what this means…

IN PREPARATION… Members seeking to increase their understanding of key policy issues for providers and the individuals they support are encouraged to join ANCOR’s Government Relations Committee. We also encourage members seeking to engage to consider the ANCOR Grassroots Work Group, which will be focusing on a 2019 advocacy initiative to bring attention to the DSP workforce crisis. To learn more about either group, please contact Doris Parfaite-Claude, Federal Advocacy and Research Manager, at [email protected].