House subcommittee approves spending bill

Published 9:46 am Saturday, May 25, 2019

On April 30, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS-ED) approved its funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2020.

The bill provides $189.8 billion in funding, a seven percent increase over FY 2019. It includes several increases of interest to the disability community, such as an increase in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B funding of $1 billion (eight percent); $3 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Grants, $178 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $245 million for Family Caregivers Services, an increase of $26 million above the 2019 enacted level.

Bill declares people with developmental disabilities medically underserved

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On May 1, Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Healthcare Extension and Accessibility for Developmentally Disabled (DD) and Underserved Population (HEADs UP) Act of 2019.

This bill would declare people with DD a medically underserved population. People with DD face a shortage of primary care providers, as well as higher infant mortality rates, higher poverty rates, and shorter life expectancy than the general population.

The medically underserved population designation comes with increased access to resources from 25 different government programs, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community Health Centers, loan repayment and training programs under Health Resources and Services Administration Workforce Development and Training Programs, and preference in research within agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.

Representatives introduce Medicare for America Act

On May 1, Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and 14 other co-sponsors introduced the Medicare for America Act (H.R.2452).

The bill expands Medicare to cover all persons not covered by employer-sponsored health insurance. Additionally, it expands Medicare’s benefit package to include long term services and supports (LTSS), among other things.

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