This Week in Public Policy - March 9 - 13, 2020

This Week in Public Policy, written by DD Council staff person Paul Jarvis, provides a summary of policy and legislation in Ohio and at the federal level that is of interest to people with disabilities.

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In Ohio

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread has continued to alarm state and national leaders. Governor Mike DeWine has declared a state of emergency, and issued multiple directives and orders to encourage social distancing. The effort by state leaders is intended to “flatten the curve”, as they say, which would slow the infection rate to create time for hospitals and health care professionals to address the flow of patients in an orderly fashion. On Wednesday, state leaders indicated that with a 4th positive test, that community spread had already been reached (meaning that people who have not travelled or have come into contact with known travelers has been infected). A fifth case was confirmed on Thursday, and Friday, a total of 13 cases have been confirmed. The state of Ohio is operating a call center for individuals to call if they are experiencing symptoms (833-427-5634). Additional information can be found on their website.

In Washington

On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Governmental Accountability Office issued a report entitled, “Medicaid and Medicare; Alignment of Managed Care Plans for Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries.” The report examines 7 states who have private entities (insurers) who are offering both a Medicare Advantage Plan (D-SNP) and are also serving as a Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO). The seven states selected for the study were chosen because the states permitted MCOs to provide long-term services and supports under Medicaid. The report makes recommendations that CMS should do a better job of tracking data by state for dual-eligible beneficiaries who have been default enrolled into D-SNPs.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: March 16 - 20, 2020

In Ohio

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 is Primary Election Day. Disability Rights Ohio is the entity in Ohio charged under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to advocate for the voting rights of individuals with disabilities. Visit their voting resource page if you have questions or concerns about voting on Tuesday.

In Washington

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Facts That May Only Interest Me: With increased shortages in the availability of toilet paper, I decided to investigate what people used before it became common. The Farmer’s Almanac reports that ancient Greeks would use “pottery shards”, often inscribed with the name of an enemy. In Japan, flat sticks shaped like a tongue depressor called a chugi was used. Romans used a sea sponge tied to a stick. And while China had been using paper products since the 14th Century, it wasn’t until the Civil War did we start using paper products.