Monday, December 13, 2004

AUCD Legislative News In Brief

Dec. 13, 2004
Vol. IV, Issue 52

Congressional Schedule
The House of Representatives adjourned on December 7 and the Senate on December 8 officially putting a close to the 108th Congress. The first session of the 109th Congress begins on January 4, 2005. The 108th Congress left a large stack of unfinished business for the new Congress, including the Family Opportunity Act, Money Follows the Person Demonstration, and the Lifespan Respite Care Act; and reauthorizations for TANF, the Higher Education Act, Head Start, and the Transportation Act.

The Dec. 4 run-offs for open seats in Louisiana finally brought this year’s election year to a close. Democrat Charlie Melancon won in the 3rd District and Republican Charles Boustany Jr. won the 7th District race. The race finalized a three-seat net gain in the House for the Republican majority. When the 109th Congress convenes, the makeup of the House will be 232 Republicans, 202 Democrats and one Independent. The Senate will be 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and one Independent.

In November, Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Patty Murray (D-WA) organized a letter to President Bush urging him not to pursue a policy of block granting or establishing arbitrary caps on the Medicaid program. To date, the letter has been signed by 45 Senators—Senator James Jeffords (I-VT) and all returning Democratic Senators. However, we need at least 51 Senators to make this commitment to fend off efforts to cap and cut Medicaid. We need these Senators to promise that they will oppose any budget resolution or budget reconciliation bill that caps and cuts Medicaid. Senators will likely be under tremendous pressure to go along with the President’s proposal. During the holiday recess, AUCD members and supporters are encouraged to contact your Senators with the message that Medicaid is a critical support for people with disabilities as well as an economic engine that generates crucial financial benefits for states.

AUCD staff attended a celebration of the one year anniversary of the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) held at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services on Dec. 9. Secretary Tommy Thompson who presided over the celebration noted that nearly 6 million beneficiaries have signed up for the Medicare-approved drug discount card. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Mark B. McClellan was also present. He stated that, "as a result of our outreach efforts, we're helping more beneficiaries faster than ever -- over 1.7 million Medicare beneficiaries have enrolled in low-income assistance in just six months.” The Medicare-approved drug discount cards became available on June 1. On the same day, however, the General Accounting Office (GAO) published a report indicating that the 1-800-Medicare help line was providing inaccurate information at least 30% of the time and no information 10% of the time. For more information about the new Medicare law, see the CMS website or the Medicare information page set up for consumers at Families USA.

State Budgets
At least 22 states now project shortfalls averaging roughly 6 percent to 7.5 percent of their general fund spending, according to a new report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: The combined deficit is approximately $25 billion to $30 billion. When state legislatures convene in early 2005 to write their budgets for the 2005-06 fiscal year, many will consider cutting services or raising new revenues in order to bring their budgets into balance, the report says. The National Conference of State Legislatures released “State Budget Update: November 2004”, the results of a 50-state survey of state legislative fiscal officers. The report, which can be accessed at notes that almost every state cited Medicaid concerns among their top three fiscal issues to be addressed in the FY 2005 legislative sessions.

HHS Secretary
President Bush chose Environmental Protection Agency chief Michael Leavitt today to be secretary of Health and Human Services. The HHS secretary oversees Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Indian Health Service. The agency has a budget of more than $500 billion and 67,000 employees. Leavitt, Utah's governor before joining the Bush administration in late 2003, would succeed Tommy Thompson, who recently resigned. As recently as last week, Dr. Mark McClellan, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, had been rumored to have the inside track for the HHS job.

Disability Policy Seminar
“Partnership for Empowerment,” the annual Disability Policy Seminar sponsored by AUCD, The Arc, UCP, AAMR, NACDD will be held on February 28 through March 2, 2005 at the Renaissance Hotel Washington, DC. See Save the Date flyer and watch for a preliminary program and registration materials coming soon. Staff will meet with representatives of AAMR, The Arc and the NACDD today to determine the final program.

AUCD · 1010 Wayne Ave, Suite 920 · Silver Spring, MD 20910 · 301-588-8252 ·

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

台灣18成人網 情色文學美美情色 文學小說UT援交友聊天室豆豆交友聊天室嘟嘟聊天室入口嘟嘟成人聊天室新6k聊天室新豆豆聊天室視訊聊天室摸摸扣扣視訊美女34c視訊情人高雄網成人貼圖區粉喵聊天室同學會視訊聊天室同學會影音聊天室ut影音視訊聊天室13077080中部人聊天室080 聊天室絕色影城絕色成人影城偷玩小遊戲寫真女郎影片視訊交友高雄網兔女郎貼影區慾望城市貼影小幻好玩遊戲meetic聊天室交友魔鏡歌詞網免費美女小遊戲使萊姆好玩遊區美女遊戲下載ndsl遊戲下載洪爺無碼VCD下載洪爺成人短片洪爺成人影片性愛影片下載性趣十足美人光碟飯島愛影片直播愛當落學院小魔女自拍貼圖天堂援交友留言聊天室卡通18美少女圖H卡通圖片成人卡通頻道18成人dvd火影忍者漫畫連載taiwankiss文學區成人色情卡通漫畫圖片亂倫小說網色情小說網性愛情小說情色網路小說成人愛情小說卡提諾王國小說傳播妹援交偷拍影片八國聯軍成人小說守護甜心遊戲守護甜心影片男人色色網小魔女自天堂Ben10 遊戲天堂小遊戲天堂遊戲天堂忍者遊戲天堂遊戲天堂楓之谷萍水相逢gba遊戲成人無碼光碟萍水相逢遊戲區平水相逢 gba 遊戲區平水相逢遊戲區台灣kiss台灣kiss倩色網櫻井美春 a片下載s383情色大網咖自拍美女聊天室免費情色漫畫a383成人影城火影忍者直播室六一歌詞帝國歌詞帝國情人視訊高雄網洪爺情色論壇洪爺的家嘟嘟成年網嘟嘟成年人網免費豆豆聊天室豆豆聊天客棧情色小站免費色情貼圖少年阿賓色情小說洪爺的色情網站夜未眠成人影城666情色貼圖色情卡通成人動畫網中文搜性網色情卡通漫畫kiss文學區台灣色情文學小說免費色情小說成人色情文學免費成人色情小說成人色情圖片視訊交友高雄網成人色情小說網成人色情影片網站色情卡通圖片日本成人色情卡通漫畫圖片成人小老鼠色情論壇成人a片論壇成人微風論壇