The Arc Ohio has been fighting a proposal to freeze enrollment in Medicaid expansion effective July 1, 2018. This proposal was included in the state budget, but Governor John Kasich exercised his line-item veto authority. Gary Tonks, CEO of The Arc Ohio, penned a letter to Governor Kasich urging him to veto the measure. Additionally, The Arc Ohio and other advocacy groups held a rally outside the Statehouse to protest attempts by the Ohio General Assembly to over-ride the measure. The Ohio of Representatives was unable to over-ride the veto.
Thanks to the advocacy of The Arc Minnesota, the Minnesota Legislature passed and Governor Mark Dayton signed a Department of Health and Human Services funding bill that makes modest progress on several key priorities including:
- A 13% reduction in parental fees for participation in the TEFRA program.
- A 1% increase in the Medicaid spend-down, or about $10 per month
- $496,000 for statewide self-advocacy efforts;
- New services for those seeking competitive employment, pending approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and
- A 1.5% increase for personal care attendants under the SEIU contract, however there was no across the board increase for DSPs.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed HB 4351, which would preserve the existing Determination of Needs Assessment Criteria until a new assessment tool is provided by the federal government, put eligibility criteria for the community care program into statute, and prohibit reducing cost maximums below 2016 levels and require increases to reflect rate increases. The Arc of Illinois supported this bill.
As a result of The Arc of Tennessee’s advocacy around the Employment and Community First Choices waiver, students with I/DD who graduate high school at 18 are now immediately eligible for employment services rather than having to wait until age 21.
The Arc of Colorado supported HB 1277, recently signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper. This law requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide 20 days of notice to a Medicaid recipient if medical assistance benefits will be suspended, terminated, or modified. The bill also extends the time for appeal of the intended action from 30 days to 60 days.