Policy Updates

The American Association on Health and Disability plays an important role in disability policy and advocacy at the national level. AAHD strives to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities receive attention and respect on the national legislative agenda. AAHD is involved in numerous disability coalitions and networks that address the needs of people with disabilities. Please visit the Policy site to learn more about our activities in this area. AAHD staff maintain an active role in Washington, DC to ensure that health promotion and wellness for people with disabilities is on the disability and healthcare agenda. AAHD staff have positions on the APHA, Disability Section, Executive Council; the CDC, NCBDDD, Executive Committee; Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities-CCD and serve on the National Health Council; Coalition for Health Funding; Disability Rehabilitation and Research Coaltion; Coalition for Whole Health, Patient Care Primary Care Collaborative; and other coalitions advocating for policy that works towards reducing health disparities between people with disabilities and the general population and reducing the incidence of secondary conditions in children and adults with disabilities.

CBPP Opposes Encouragement of Medicaid IMDs for Persons with Substance Abuse Disorder

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has issued a paper opposing encouragement of Medicaid IMDs (Institutions for Mental Diseases) for the treatment of substance use disorders. CBPP argues that allowing such policy change would result in over-reliance on residential treatments and under-investments in community-based alternatives. The April 17 CBPP paper is here: PDF.

Habilitation is an Essential Health Benefit

AAHD has joined the Habilitation Benefits Coalition is challenging the Heritage Foundation argument that habilitation services and devices are not “essential health benefits” under the Affordable Care Act. The April 11 letter is here: PDF.

Opposing Weakening the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Legislation (HR 620)

AAHD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) writing the U.S. Senate opposing the House ADA weakening legislation (HR 620). The April 12 CCD letter is here: PDF.

Promoting Integrated Whole-Person Health Including Substance Use Disorders – Continued

The Partnership To Amend 42 CRF Part 2, a coalition including AAHD, has written the Senate Committee on Finance, requesting that pending legislation dealing with the opioid crisis, include integrated whole person health records.  Available here are the April 11 Partnership letter and a list of the Partnership members with objectives.  

Medicare Part D – Chronic Illnesses “Protected Classes of Medications”

AAHD has joined the Partnership for Part D Access, encouraging HHS to continue to guarantee Medicare access to medications to treat certain chronic illnesses. The April 9 Partnership letter is here: PDF.

SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – and Persons with Disabilities

AAHD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) providing comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on proposed SNAP rules. The April 9 CCD letter is here: PDF.

Adequately Funding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

AAHD has joined the CDC Coalition requesting Congress to adequately fund CDC. The April 9 letter is here: PDF.

Promoting Integrated Whole-Person Health Including Substance Use Disorders

AAHD, consistent with the approach of the Partnership To Amend 42 CFR part 2, has endorsed HR 3545, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act. Our April 7 letter to House committee leaders is here: PDF.

Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation – Purpose of Trips Chart

Available here is a chart prepared by the Simon & Company organized Medicaid non-emergency transportation coalition: 38% of trips are for mental health and substance use disorder.

Adequately Funding Maternal and Child Health Programs

AAHD has joined the Friends of Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Programs requesting Congress to adequately fund MCH programs. The April 3 letter is here: PDF.