This Week in Public Policy - January 13 - 17, 2020

This Week in Public Policy provides a summary of policy and legislation in Ohio and at the federal level that is of interest to people with disabilities.

To subscribe to these weekly updates, send an email to Paul Jarvis at paul.jarvis@dodd.ohio.gov.

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In Ohio

On Tuesday, January 14th, Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran announced she had issued a 13-page memorandum (this is a link to the Columbus Dispatch, the only source I could locate the actual memorandum) to Governor Mike DeWine outline serious problems with the Medicaid program as inherited from the previous administration. Corcoran cited numerous issues, focusing on failures of the Ohio Benefits system run by Accenture and the hurried and problematic roll-out of the Behavioral Health Redesign which caused the loss of community mental health providers. Corcoran indicated she has reorganized Medicaid leadership to address the many unresolved issues, which she said would take years to correct.

On Tuesday, January 14th, 2020, the House Health Committee held ALL Testimony on House Bill 188 (Blindness -Adoption and Custody). The bill would prohibit a person’s blindness from being used to deny or limit custody, parenting time, adoption, etc. The committee accepted an amendment to the bill that would prohibit a person’s “disability” from being used to deny or limit custody, etc. The amendment has the affect of providing the same protection to all people with disabilities instead of just individuals who are blind.

On Thursday, January 16th, 2020, on the heels of Director’s Corcoran’s 2019 report to Governor Mike DeWine, two state legislators announced their opposition to the new work requirement for some Medicaid recipients. Citing concerns about people losing coverage when they shouldn’t, state Representatives Allison Russo and Thomas West are asking Governor DeWine to delay implementation of the work requirements (for Group 8 participants) until the issues with Ohio Benefits can be addressed.

In Washington

Friday, January 17th, 2020 is the last day to submit public comment on proposed rules to add a fourth disability determination category under the Social Security Administrations regulation for purposes of redetermination reviews. Currently, Social Security assigns all disability cases under three categories with different periods for redetermination: Medical Improvement Expected (redetermination 6 to 18 months), Medical Improvement Possible (Once every 3 years), and Medical Improvement Not Expected (Once every 5 to 7 years). The new fourth category being proposed would fall between the Expected and Possible categories: Medical Improvement Likely (Once every 2 years). As a result, Social Security is claiming that some individuals will experience a longer period between redetermination and some individuals will experience a shorter period between redetermination. Based on their figures, it appears the majority of individuals will fall under the more frequent redetermination time frame.


NEXT Week in Public Policy: January 24 - 24, 2020

In Ohio

On Tuesday, January 21st, 2020, the Senate Education Committee will hold ALL Testimony on Senate Bill 102 (Dyslexia Screening Program). The bill would establish the Dyslexia Screening Program for school districts and other public schools. The bill is slated for amendments. The hearing will take place at 10:15 in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building.

On Tuesday, January 21st, 2020, the House Health Committee will hold ALL Testimony on House Bill 188 (Blindness -Adoption and Custody). The bill would prohibit a person’s blindness or disability from being used to deny or limit custody, parenting time, adoption, etc. The bill is scheduled for a POSSIBLE VOTE. The House Health Committee will also hold ALL Testimony on House Bill 214 (Prescription Drug Readers). The bill would require pharmacies to provide prescription drug readers for visually impaired patients and requires health insurance plans, including Medicaid, to pay for the readers. The hearing will take place at 11:00 a.m. in Hearing Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee will hold PROPONENT Testimony on Senate Bill 246 (Occupational Licensing Reciprocity). The bill would require the occupational licensing authority to issue a license or government certification to an applicant who holds a license, government certification, private certification, or has satisfactory work experience in another state. The hearing will take place 3:15 p.m. in the North Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building.

The Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee will also be holding ALL Testimony on House Bill 76 (Ballot Language Uniformity). The bill would change how property tax levies are calculated from the “taxable value” of a property to the “fair market value” of the property. Multiple local government organizations, including the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Library Council, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio School Boards Association, the Ohio Municipal League and the Ohio Township Association have testified in opposition to this bill. The hearing will take place at 3:15 p.m. in the North Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building.

In Washington

Congress is not scheduled to hold committee hearings next week.


Facts That May Only Interest Me:  The Moon rotates at a rate of roughly 27 days, which is the same number of days it takes to orbit the Earth. As a result, we only ever see the same side of the Moon. Jupiter is the fastest rotating planet in our solar system. A full Jupiter day can be measured in 10 hours on Earth. Venus is the slowest rotating planet in our solar system, taking 243 Earth days to complete a single rotation.