Govt. Affairs

Hole torn in a dollar bill with medicaid text

News from ANCOR:

FINANCE DEMOCRATS DENOUNCE TRUMP ADMIN FOR HARMFUL MEDICAID BLOCK GRANT PROPOSALS

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and all Democratic members of the Finance Committee today called on the Trump administration to end its harmful attacks on the Medicaid program, which provides essential health care to more than 70 million Americans. The letter comes ahead of the committee’s hearing on the president’s budget.

“This Administration in coordination with your Department has taken every opportunity to try to gut Medicaid and put critical health coverage for millions of vulnerable Americans on the chopping block,” the senators wrote. “It is time for the Trump Administration’s ongoing assault on the Medicaid program to end. The public has spoken loud and clear – Medicaid serves as a lifeline to millions of Americans and their loved ones, and they do not want to see it block granted, capped, or gutted.” 

Last month, the Trump administration announced new guidance for the Medicaid program that would hand states a playbook to implement block grants. In return for placing arbitrary funding caps on its Medicaid program, the state would get unprecedented authority to cut benefits and access to care, including prescription drugs, and further restrict coverage by charging unaffordable premiums and cost sharing, and implementing arbitrary paperwork requirements. This week, the Trump administration followed up to their illegal guidance with a budget that proposes to gut Medicaid by nearly $1 trillion, block grant and cap the program, and push their failed paperwork requirements on all states.

Such policies would lead to devastating cuts to Medicaid, jeopardizing affordable, comprehensive care for millions of Americans benefiting from the Medicaid expansion and endangering health care for millions more, including seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for nursing and home-based care, children and individuals with complex needs who depend on Medicaid to get the help they deserve to stay and thrive in their communities and at school, those suffering from opioid use disorders who count on Medicaid to get the treatment they so desperately need, and individuals impacted by public health emergencies in need of critical care.

The full letter can be found here.

Joining Ranking Member Wyden on the letter are Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Maria Cantwell, D-Wa., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Tom Carper. D-Del., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Mark Warner, D-Va., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev.

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The US Constitution requires a census of all residents in the entire country every 10 years. The census counts every person living in the US once (and only once) in the right place. You are counted based on where you are living on April 1, 2020. Please encourage individuals that you serve to participate.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL TO PARTICIPATE:

Fair representation & legislative redistricting

The Census determines:

  • How many seats PA has in the US House of Representatives
  • How US congressional and state legislative districts are redrawn

$675+ billion in federal public funding
The Census determines how much funding each state receives for the next 10 years.

Pennsylvania receives $26.8 billion each year
That’s $2,000 per Pennsylvanian

The data collected in the 2020 Census will impact the amount of federal funding our communities get for the next decade for programs like…

  • Medicare (Part B)
  • Medicaid
  • CHIP
  • WIC
  • Healthcare Centers

2020 Census will determine how much food support children, adults, and seniors receive…

  • SNAP
  • School Breakfast Program
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Children and Adult Care Food Program

2020 Census will determine how much we invest in the future of our children…

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Direct Student Loans
  • Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies
  • Special Education Grants
  • Head Start

2020 Census will determine how much PA’s highways, railways, airports, and ports receive…

  • Highway Planning and Construction
  • Federal Transit Formula Grants
  • Federal Transit Capital Investment Grants

2020 Census will determine how much safe affordable housing will be available…

  • Very Low to Moderate Income Housing Loans
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments
  • Public and Indian Housing
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Program
  • Public Housing Capital Fund

2020 Census determines how much funding rural areas receive for services and infrastructure…

  • Rural Electrification Loans and Loan Guarantees
  • Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities
  • Rural Rental Assistance Payments
  • Business and Industry Loans
  • Cooperative Extension Services

2020 Census determines how much support our children and families receive…

  • TANF
  • Title IV-E Foster Care
  • Unemployment Insurance Administration
  • Adoption Assistance
  • Child Care Mandatory and Matching Funds

Your census responses can never be used against you. Under Title 13 of the US Code, the US Census Bureau cannot release any information about an individual. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics.

Census employees and contractors are sworn for life to always protect your information. Violators face fines up to $250,000 and up to five years in prison.

Your information is protected from cyber-attacks, threats, and leaks. The bureau’s cybersecurity meets the highest federal standards for system protection. Your information is protected no matter if you respond online, by phone, or by mail.

If you respond online, make sure the website address begins with HTTPS and includes a lock symbol.

Census workers will never ask for your SSN, banking information, money, or anything on behalf of a political party.

Real census workers carry identification. They will have an official ID badge with photo, a US Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. You can call 800-923-8282 to verify a worker’s identity.

Report suspicious activity. Call your local police department if you receive a visitor falsely claiming to be representing the US Census Bureau.

April 1, 2020 is National Census Day

  • Participate in the census online, by mail, or by phone.
  • If you’re living in Pennsylvania on April 1, 2020, you are a resident.
  • Count every person living in your home on April 1, 2020.

Join in community outreach. Learn more and download resources at the official website.

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On Tuesday, March 24, RCPA will be holding its annual Capitol Day in Harrisburg. The agenda and handouts for members’ legislative visits will be available soon.

As a reminder, RCPA recommends that members make appointments with their legislators. Once an appointment is made, please inform Jack Phillips, Director Of Government Affairs, with the name of the legislator(s) and the time of the appointment(s).

RCPA strongly encourages members, staff, and clients to attend, and get your voice heard on the Hill. Please contact Jack Phillips with questions.

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Today, Governor Wolf gave his annual budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly. In the Governor’s budget, he calls for increases to health and human service line items; however, some of his requested increases are included in a supplemental appropriations bill, which is a piece of legislation that is separate from the traditional June general budget and budget code bills. RCPA reacted to the Governor’s budget proposal by releasing this statement.
Additionally, RCPA is working with the Wolf Administration to schedule a specialized budget briefing for RCPA members. Questions, please contact Jack Phillips.

Senate Bill 906 SB 906, calling for a state center closure moratorium, has passed the House by a vote of 139–55. The bill amends the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Act, in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions; and, in responsibilities of the State, providing for a state center closure moratorium. The amendment sponsored by state Representative Lee James passed Tuesday, January 14, 2020. The measure eradicates previous wording on the bill that placed a moratorium on the closure of state centers until all Medicaid waiver-eligible individuals on the waiting list (of over 13,000) received funding for home or community-based care. The moratorium would now have a five-year limit.

The bill calls for the creation of a task force on the closure of state centers. The task force would convene within 60 days and be comprised of the Secretary of Department of Human Services, one representative from each state center, one representative from the Governor’s office, the chair and minority chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and House Human Services Committee, two family members of residents of state centers, and one representative of a nonprofit organization that serves as an advocate for those with intellectual disabilities. The bill now goes back to the Senate as the bill was amended on the floor yesterday.