Capitol Correspondence - 04.12.21

Roundup: ANCOR’s Outreach to the Biden Administration on Medicaid Funding, Medicaid Benefits and Disability Employment

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As part of its work to ensure the needs of people with disabilities and the Medicaid providers who support them are met, ANCOR:

  • Partnered with Easter Seals to send President Biden a letter with recommendations for longer-term investments in Medicaid. This letter encourages the Biden administration to continue the temporary 10-percent increase in HCBS funding included in the American Rescue Plan Act beyond the pandemic.
  • Submitted comments to the Department of Education on the definition of competitive, integrated employment. This was in response to the agency’s request for feedback on an FAQs document it recently released.

ANCOR also joined coalition letters to:

  • Highlight the disability community’s concerns with COVID-19 vaccine rollout. That letter, sent by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, focuses on challenges surrounding the vaccination process’ accessibility, and on prioritization of people with disabilities.
  • Request that the Department of Health and Human Services continue including habilitative benefits in essential health benefits. This refers to language in the Affordable Care Act which created a package of essential health benefits to eliminate health insurers’ decision-making based on individuals’ health status (pre-existing conditions), which disproportionately impacts people with disabilities and chronic conditions. That letter was sent by the Habilitation Benefits Coalition.
  • Request an affirmation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Medicaid beneficiaries’ access to benefits until the end of the pandemic. Specifically, that letter asks CMS to rescind an interim rule and instead affirm that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed in 2020, prohibits states from reducing the amount, duration and scope of enrollees’ Medicaid benefits until the end of the month in which the public health emergency ends. It was sent by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.