Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Quick Hits: Policy Issues for the Week of November 7, 2007


On Wednesday November 7, 2007 the first 21st Century Transportation Committee meeting will be held in room 544 at 1:00pm. This committee was appointed to address infrastructure needs in our state. This committee was formed in lieu of having a special session to discuss transportation issues. Reliable, affordable and accessible transportation options are critical to the disability community.

Senate Appointments:
Mr. David Hoyle, Jr. , Sen. Samuel Clark Jenkins, Sen. Richard Yates Stevens, Hon. Terry Bellamy (Public Member), Mr. Richard Blackburn (Public Member), Hon. Rector Samuel Hunt, III (Public Member), Hon. Allen Joines (Public Member), Dr. Joseph Monroe (Public Member), Mr. Gregory B. Plemmons (Public Member), Mr. Billy Sewell (Public Member), Mr. Lanny Wilson (Public Member), Mr. Stephen P. Zelnak, Jr. (Public Member).
House Appointments:
Mr. J. Bradley Wilson (Chair), Rep. Becky Carney, Rep. Lorene Thomason Coates,Rep. E. Nelson Cole, Rep. Phillip Dean Frye, Rep. William C. McGee, Rep. William L. Wainwright, Mr. Charles F. Bowman (Public Member), Mr. Chuck McGrady (Public Member), Hon. George W. Miller, Jr. (Public Member), Ms. Nina S. Szlosberg (Public Member), Mr. David Jordan Whichard, lll (Public Member).

On Wednesday, November 7, 2007 there will be a public hearing on the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice in Raleigh.

Read more here:


Health Care:

On Thursday, by a vote of 64-30, the Senate passed a revised version of legislation (H.R. 3963) to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The House had passed an identical bill but failed to garner sufficient votes needed to override an expected Presidential veto. Senate leaders had hoped to delay their vote on the revised SCHIP bill to allow for continued negotiations between supporters in the Senate and GOP opponents in the House. Senate leaders were considering offering amendments to the revised SCHIP bill that would attract the support of additional Republican House members, but Senate opponents of the bill forced a vote without amendments.

Congressional leaders have agreed not to attempt an override of the revised SCHIP bill, but will instead continue to work with negotiators to reach a compromise on SCHIP reauthorization. H.R. 3963 contains a moratorium on proposed regulations to limit Medicaid’s rehabilitative services option and school based transportation for Medicaid eligible children receiving IDEA services until January 1, 2010.

Senate supporters of the SCHIP reauthorization and House Republican opponents will continue to negotiate in hopes of producing a compromise bill that will garner sufficient votes to override a Presidential veto without losing any votes from Democratic Members.


The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), held a hearing that examined six proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) regulations. Several witnesses described the negative impact of the following proposed regulations – 1) a limitation on Medicaid’s rehabilitative services option; 2) a limitation on school based services for Medicaid eligible children receiving IDEA services; 3) a limitation on transportation for Medicaid eligible children receiving IDEA services, 4) a limit on the services states can cover under Medicaid outpatient programs; 5) elimination of Medicaid payments for graduate medical education, and 6) a limitation on how states can generate funds to pay for their share of Medicaid matching funds. The Arc and UCP strongly oppose these regulatory changes.

Dennis Smith, CMS Director for Medicaid and State Operations, testified that some states are pushing the envelope and billing services to Medicaid that are not considered allowable under the program.


The ADA Restoration Act (H.R.3195 and S. 1881) continues to move forward. The House has added three new cosponsors for a total of 236. Meanwhile, Senate leadership staff met with members of the Disability Policy Collaboration and other CCD members to prepare for an upcoming push. The DPC continues to meet with Senate and House staff to offer a thorough understanding of the need to protect the employment of people with disabilities, dispel concerns raised by opposition, and maintain momentum during what is expected to be a long, uphill battle.

Fiscal Year 2008 Appropriations:
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Tuesday on the conference report on the FY 2008 appropriations bill for the Departments of L-HHS-ED. Should the conference report on the Labor-HHS-Ed appropriations bill be passed in the House, the Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week. House and Senate Democratic leadership have yet to announce a final strategy on which appropriations bills, singly or in combination, to send to the President for his signature or veto.

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