Health Care Legislative Agenda for the 112th Congress (2011-2012)

Our organizations are committed to maintaining the comprehensive health care reforms achieved in the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  With the enactment of the ACA, we have made significant progress towards accomplishing our nation’s goal of universal access to high quality affordable health care for all Americans.  The ACA includes historic coverage expansions, nondiscrimination and health insurance reforms, strengthened prevention provisions, and numerous enhancements to Medicare, Medicaid, and other provisions that will significantly benefit people with disabilities.  It is critical that the essential benefit package designed for the new health care exchanges meet the needs of people with disabilities and special health care needs. Protecting the significant achievements of the ACA will be our highest health care priority.  In addition, our organizations will work to advance the legislative agenda that was not addressed by the ACA or only partially addressed.

To achieve these goals, the 112th Congress must:

Health Care Reform

  • Ensure that the ACA is not partially or fully repealed.  In particular, the provisions that meet the needs of our constituents for quality, accessible, appropriate, comprehensive, affordable, portable, and non-discriminatory coverage must be protected;

  • Ensure that the ACA is adequately funded to accomplish the significant goals of the Act for our constituents;

  • Fund demonstration programs to implement individual care coordination for individuals with disabilities, particularly those who have complex and chronic health care needs;

  • Ensure that all demonstration and pilot grants address the needs of people with disabilities;

  • Expand  preventive and restorative dental coverage under the ACA;

  • Protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund and increase funding for primary and secondary prevention and wellness programs for individuals with disabilities;

  • Ensure that privately run wellness programs do not discriminate against people with disabilities or health conditions;

  • Expand funding for training of all health care providers about the needs of children and adults with disabilities, including practices to prevent secondary conditions and to help transition youth with disabilities to adult care providers;

  • Explore mechanisms to develop cost effective “transition medicine” centers for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are aging out of Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment benefit;

  • Support efforts to ensure that people have access to affordable prescription drugs;  and

  • Ensure that all demonstration pilot grants address the needs of people with disabilities.  

 

Medicaid/Medicare

  • Protect existing health care entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid;

  • Ensure that there is seamless transition between Medicare, Medicaid, and the health insurance exchanges to ensure continuity of care when an individual’s income or job situation changes.

  • Ensure that cost cutting mechanisms in Medicare do not compromise access to durable medical equipment, including complex rehabilitation technology and other rehabilitative therapies and services, and that Medicare is responsive to the unique health care needs of our constituents;

  • Enact legislation to phase out Medicare’s 2-year waiting period under which people with disabilities qualify for Medicare coverage 24 months after receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits;

  • Enact legislation to eliminate Medicare’s “in the home” restriction for coverage of mobility devices (e.g., wheelchairs and scooters) for those with expected long-term needs.

Other

  • Reauthorize the Combating Autism Act and support legislation to develop evidence-based services and supports for individuals on the autism spectrum and increase training for professionals that work with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities;

  • Enact legislation to reduce harmful chemical exposure to individuals with existing intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their families and care providers;

  • Support a full range of reforms that address concerns about managed care’s ability to meet the needs of children and adults with disabilities, such as a broad definition of medical necessity, enforceable federal standards, and legal remedies. 

Legislative Agenda Partners

We are national organizations that serve and advocate for people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. We work together to shape, expand, and protect a strong federal role that provides vital benefits, services and supports and assures civil rights for our constituency.