DD Council Public Policy Committee
5/20/13 to 5/27/13*
The Governor's Office of Health Transformation announced Wednesday that Ohio has been awarded a $2.1 million federal grant to improve criminal background checks for direct-care workers in home- and community-based settings. The administration will match the funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with $700,000 in state resources. (Hannah Report)
The Ohio Association of County Boards Serving People with Developmental Disabilities said Bridget Gargan will become its new executive director beginning July 8. She succeeds Dan Ohler who left the post in December. (Hannah Report)
Several news reports have illustrated that nothing is off the table when legislative leaders begin talking about Medicaid changes (expansion, extension or reform). State Senator Shannon Jones said publicly that she didnít believe advocates made a compelling case at the Statehouse calling for expansion. The Hannah Report states the following:
She also later told the group that she is "flummoxed by
the process on Cap Square. My history suggests that when there are policy
changes advocates are for they are very good" at making the case.
"I don't believe y'all have done that.
"I've been really amazed at the strategic decision not to load up the hearing rooms with the folks who would benefit. I think I know who these folks are but maybe I donít." Jones also said it is a "ridiculous notion" to think that these individuals below 138 percent of poverty "aren't costing the system money." People are getting care "somewhere"; it's just "some care in the wrong setting."
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on S. 555 (CINEMA Act) and S. 556 (Air Carrier Access Amendment). S. 555 amends the Americans with Disabilities Act to require movie theaters to provide closed captioning, either on screen or through individual devices that enable individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to receive information that includes dialogue, sound effects, music, etc. The bill also includes requirements for image narration to enable individuals who are blind or have difficulty seeing to understand the activity on the screen. S. 556 applies the same principles found in S. 555 to in-flight entertainment. The Committee received testimony from the following:
Eve Hill, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Karen Peltz Strauss, Federal Communications Commission
John Fithian, National Association of Theater Owners
Betsy Beaumon, Global Literacy Program, Benetech
Brian Carlson, American Council of the Blind
Andrew Phillips, National Association of the Deaf
On 5/14/13, Congressman Louie Gohmert (Texas) introduced HR 1970, which would require that social security benefits be given priority payment status if the federal government exceeds its statutory debt limit and cannot incur more debt (Debt Ceiling). The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
5/22/13 Ė The House Health and Aging Committee will hold SPONSOR testimony on House Bill 150 (Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency). The bill would change the name and some of the structure of the Rehabilitation Services Commission that was included as part of the as-introduced budget bill, but was taken out of the bill by the House of Representatives. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in Statehouse Room 116.