Dear DD Councils:
Once again, I am writing to thank you for your valuable use of grass-tops influencers to stop Rep. Rush’s amendment to freeze the HCBS rule from being considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Although Rep. Rush did file his amendment, it did not receive a vote in the committee. Additionally, the Democratic Leadership has assured us that Rep. Rush’s amendment will not be included in any substitute amendment they offer on the CHIP reauthorization bill.
NACDD is working with coalition partners to meet with members of Congress in the next few weeks to educate them on the importance of HCBS rule implementation.
Here are a few of my take-aways from yesterday:
1) Many DD Councils are extremely connected to the federal advocacy networks. Thank you so much to those of you who emailed Donna and me about the groups that were organizing calls to Rep. Rush’s office. Please continue to let us know if there are any advocacy groups asking DD Councils to weigh in on federal legislation so we can coordinate our efforts and make the best strategic approach to defend NACDD priorities.
2) Kimberly Mercer-Schleider and the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities was ready to go to the mat to educate Rep. Rush on why his amendment did not reflect the needs of the DD community. It’s always great to have an existing relationship with your federal representatives and their staff just in case you need to contact them quickly on an important policy issue.
3) It’s vital to keep our guard up for groups that would seek to weaken community integration. The lack of transparency of this latest attack on the implementation is very concerning to us. I’d be surprised if you were not seeing similar attacks at the state level with the HCBS state plans. It is very important to make sure your governor is aware that DD Councils support implementation of the rule.
HCBS regulations push states toward more integrated, more reliable HCBS programs that promote better options for older adults and individuals with disabilities to live independently, get the care that they need, and have full access to the benefits of community living. I’m so grateful for your work to defend and advance this important regulation.
Director, Public Policy
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
1825 K Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006
202.506.5813 Ext. 104 (Phone)