Last week was filled with celebrations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 25-year anniversary, Sunday, July 26. The president and vice president hosted several thousand new and returning advocates at the White House where the president made remarks in the East Room (see video and fact sheets). The Departments of Labor, Justice, HHS/ACL, and Education also held separate events to celebrate their agencies’ accomplishments related to the ADA. At several events, Senators Tom Harkin, Lowell Weicker, and Bob Dole, Rep. Tony Coelho and other federal officials regaled participants with stories of the efforts entailed in passing the ADA. The ADA Legacy Tour bus, which has rolled across the country since 2014 to raise awareness, came to D.C. Sunday with a big celebration.
Also last week, the promise of coordinated care programs supporting older adults in their homes, the Independence at Home Demonstration Program; the future of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund; Waiver wait list reductions in Kansas; and more:
- PBS NewsHour shared the stories of three older Americans with chronic conditions and the coordinated care programs (and caregiving in their homes) helping them to stay healthier between doctor visits.
- The Medicare and Social Security Trustees released their 2015 report on the current and projected financial status of the two programs. Notable: If Congress fails to act before the end of 2016, nearly 11 million Americans who rely on SSDI will face a 20 percent across-the-board cut in benefits. More: The Washington Post’s editorial page shared a “wise prescription” for the SSDI fix.
- The 17 physician practices participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Independence at Home Demonstration Project saved Medicare more than $3,000 per beneficiary. The program provided older adults with at least two chronic conditions with in-home care, saving $25 million in its first year, according to this Modern Healthcare editorial.
- The Kansas Health Institute reported a significant drop in the State’s physical disability (PD) waiting list – from 3,500 Kansans a year ago to fewer than 1,500. But even as the number of Kansans waiting for PD services shrinks, the number enrolled and actually receiving the services also is dropping.
- Recent legislation in Florida allows families to deposit up to $100,000 tax-free funds into a trust fund account managed by the Florida Prepaid College Board which will not be counted towards SSI or Medicaid benefits determinations. The legislation also frees 2,000 additional slots in the State’s HCBS Medicaid waiver, reports Governing magazine.
ICYMI: Last week the Declarations blog welcomed Lex Frieden, convener of the National Advisory Board to celebrate ADA’s 25th anniversary.
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