April 2018 Health Policy Update

In this blog, we give you the latest updates regarding U.S. health policies.

Lawmakers Attempt to Designate the Month of May as Stroke Awareness Month

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and 21 other co-sponsors offer to designate May as Stroke Awareness Month. Their resolution, H. Res. 337, has been sent to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that one person dies from stroke every four minutes in the United States. The CDC also says that stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability among Americans.

House Unable to Pass Balanced Budget Amendment

The House of Representatives failed to get the two-thirds vote that was needed to pass the constitutional balanced-budget amendment. H.J. Res. 2 would have required Congress to spend no more than its revenue each year and would have subjected federal programs to be cut in order to meet this requirement. The bill also would have increased taxes to pay for the spending. In order for the amendment to have passed, both the House and the Senate needed to approve the proposal by supermajority votes and ratification from the majority of States. 28 states have passed similar resolutions calling for a constitutional convention to adopt the amendment. Only six more states are needed to call a constitutional convention.

Senate Democrats Oppose ADA Changes

On March 29, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), along with 42 other democratic senators wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pledging to block the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act. The bill, H.R. 620., weakens the provisions of access to public accommodations like restaurants, hotels, stores, and medical facilities, by placing the responsibility on the disabled person to complain about noncompliance regarding accessibility. The measure passed the House and has been sent to the Senate for consideration. The Brain Injury Association of America went on record to oppose H.R. 620.

ACL to Hold Feedback Forums for ACL’s TBI Federal Coordination Plan

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) will be holding six stakeholder feedback conference calls to help inform the development of the Federal Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Coordination Plan. The goal of the forum is to make sure the perspectives of all stakeholders are incorporated into the Plan.

There are two calls available in April:

  • April 18, 7-8:30 p.m. (EDT): For self-advocates
  • April 19, 12-1:30 p.m. (EDT): All stakeholders welcome

You can register here if you are interested in participating in a forum.

Trump Signs Executive Order for New Public Assistance & Work Requirements

President Trump signed an Executive Order that calls for department secretaries to create plans to impose work requirements on able-bodied recipients of public assistance programs like food assistance, Medicaid, and low-income housing subsidies. The Secretaries of the Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education are expected to make “a list of recommended regulatory and policy changes” to get recipients of these programs into the workforce.

VA Secretary Removed By President

David Shulkin was removed from his position as Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) by President Trump on March 28. Trump has since nominated his physician, Admiral Ronny Jackson, M.D. Honorable Robert Wilkie will be serving as Acting Secretary until Dr. Jackson is confirmed by the Senate.

Do you have more questions about brain injuries or U.S. health policies? Contact our team of San Francisco traumatic brain injury attorneys to get answers today.

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