Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Quick Hits: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

North Carolina:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

10 a.m. The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee meets, 643 LOB.

This is the first of two days worth of meetings. Day one will begin by presentations by the Superintendents of our public schools. Other topics to be addresses Exceptional Children Programs, A + Schools, AVID and Gateway to College Program. Day two will include a presentation by Howard Lee on the State of Education systems and UNC President Erskine Bowles will present on UNC Tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

9 a.m. The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee meets, 643 LOB.

Continuation of the two day meeting.

10 a.m. The Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety meets, 544 LOB.

A sure sign that we are nearing the beginning of the short session is the discussion of funding. This is the first appropriation subcommittee meetings since legislative break began. There was no agenda available at this time.

1 p.m. The Joint Legislative Corrections, Crime Control, and Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee meets, 421 LOB.

1 p.m. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education/Higher Education and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education/Public Instruction meet jointly, 414 LOB.

Coming on the heels of a two day Education Oversight committee we have the first appropriation subcommittee meeting for an education committee. This meeting will coincide with a presentation by UNC President Erskine Bowles on UNC Tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

10 a.m. The Joint Legislative Commission on Dropout Prevention and High School Graduation meets, 643 LOB.

Last time this committee met there were lots of questions regarding the recently released report on drop outs. Expect that to continue.

1 p.m. The Joint Legislative Study Committee on Public School Funding Formulas meets, 544 LOB.

No agenda available at this time.


Budget negotiations are underway. Tomorrow we will post a more detailed look at what is occurring in the early negotiation process.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), released The Administration’s Medicaid Regulations: State-By-State Impacts. The report is based on responses from state Medicaid Directors to the Committee’s request for information on state specific impacts of the Administration’s Medicaid regulations. Forty-three (43) states plus the District of Columbia responded. According to the states, the fiscal impact of the regulations would be much greater than the Administration has estimated. Even though states that were not able to provide specific estimates for each regulation having an effect on the state, to the extent they were able to provide estimates, the cumulative negative impact on states was $49.7 billion over 5 years, over three times the amount the Administration estimated. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) charged that the reports are based on non-reliable data. The report can be accessed at

The impact of these changes for North Carolina are as follows:

North Carolina

Cost limits for public providers (CMS 2258-FC)
Loss of federal funds in 2008: $430.60 million
Over 5 years: $2,187.00 million
"The resultant loss of support for the state’s public and private hospitals would … diminish the ability of the State to provide basic health care and services provided in a hospital setting to Medicaid and indigent recipients.”"

Payment for graduate medical education (CMS 2279-P)
Loss of federal funds in 2008: $84.00 million
Over 5 years: $420.00 million
"If this rule is finalized, the financial stability of our safety-net teaching hospitals will be jeopardized, affecting many of the state’s most vulnerable citizens covered by the Medicaid program and served by these hospitals."

Payment for outpatient hospital services (CMS 2213-P)
Loss of federal funds in 2008: None
Over 5 years: None
Provider taxes (CMS 2275-P)
Loss of federal funds in 2008: Not specified
Over 5 years: Not specified
"A reduction or elimination of these assessments would impede access to care by Medicaid recipients in [nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded]."

Coverage of rehabilitative services (CMS 2261-P)
Loss of federal funds in 2008: Not specified
Over 5 years: Not specified
"We are unable to adequately project the fiscal impact at this time because of remaining questions about how this regulation will be applied; however, we anticipate a negative impact."

Payments for costs of school administrative and transportation services (CMS 2287-P)
Loss of federal funds in 2008: Not specified
Over 5 years: $56.00 million
"North Carolina Public Schools utilize funds from School Based Administrative Claiming to ensure vital services and equipment for students with disabilities are available."

Targeted case management (CMS-2237-IFC)
Loss of federal funds in 2008: Not specified
Over 5 years: Not specified

On Friday the Senate passed a one month extension of the Higher Education Act. The extension (S. 2733) would give the House and Senate until April 30 to resolve the differences between the comprehensive reauthorizations passed by each chamber. The current extension expires March 31. Both the House and Senate reauthorization bills contain important provisions for people with disabilities, including a new demonstration program to expand access to postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities.

ADA Restoration:
The Disability Policy Collaboration, along with others in the disability community, recently met with White House representatives to discuss the ADA Restoration Act. In chorus with the Department of Justice letter to Congress “strongly opposing the ADA,” the White House opposes the ADA Restoration Act as it’s been introduced in the House and suggests a narrow adjustment to include only some of the people with disabilities Congress intended to cover when it passed the ADA in 1990. Their proposal is to protect from workplace discrimination individuals who “mitigate” or manage their disabilities through medication, the use of prosthetics, and other measures. The White House proposal would not protect individuals who cannot mitigate their disabilities and those who are asked to prove to the court’s satisfaction that their disability substantially limits a major life activity. An example of someone still not protected by the White House’s proposed fix: Mr. Littleton, a man with an intellectual disability, who was told it was “unclear if thinking, communicating, and social interaction are major life activities under the ADA.”

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