ACTION ALERT from our friends at the Center for Public Representation: Tell CMS not to weaken nursing facility rules that keep people with disabilities in their homes and communities and out of nursing facilities
“The Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) is a federal rule to help keep people with disabilities from being unnecessarily placed in nursing facilities and to help nursing facility residents transition back to the community. PASRR has been an important tool to further the civil rights of people with disabilities and help states comply with the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision.
But right now, in the middle of this pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing a rule that would weaken PASRR, making it easier for people to be admitted to nursing facilities and harder for them to transition from these facilities back to the community. The rule would also only require that nursing facility residents receive some undefined “information about community options;” it doesn’t ensure that people have enough information to adequately understand their options and make an informed choice about remaining in the facility or returning to the community.
The proposed rule would allow states to avoid any responsibility for community integration if there is not a “currently available community option” -- even if everyone agrees the person could be best served in the community. PASRR was intended to promote the transition from institutional care to community alternatives whenever appropriate; weakening that commitment now is not only contrary to federal law, but also endangers people’s health and safety.
Keeping people out of nursing facilities is especially important now, with COVID-19 ravaging nursing facilities around the country. Unnecessary admissions will lead to needless exposure to COVID-19, at a minimum traumatizing those individuals and their families and, for many, leading to avoidable deaths.
We've made it easy for you to comment, using template comments. Comments from individuals can be submitted through the online portal put together by our friends at the National Disability Rights Network, which you can find here.
We need you to oppose the Administration's efforts to weaken PASRR and let CMS know that while these proposed changes would always be harmful, it would be especially dangerous to implement them in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.”
The Arc Joins Supreme Court Amicus Brief Urging Court to Uphold Affordable Care Act, Congressional Protections for People with Disabilities
The Arc, with a coalition of disability and civil rights organizations, has joined an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case California v. Texas.
The ACA has been essential to overcoming the disproportionate impact that America’s healthcare crisis, even before COVID-19, has had on people with disabilities, and how it is uniquely difficult for people with disabilities to obtain affordable and adequate health insurance coverage despite relying on health care services more than those without disabilities.The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated healthcare disparities and underscored the critical importance of the ACA given the millions of newly unemployed Americans who would not be able to afford health insurance without the ACA, the increase in disabilities and long-term healthcare needs resulting from COVID-19, and the possibility of discriminatory medical rationing prohibited by the ACA.
“The Arc has fought vigorously to protect the ACA. In enacting the law, Congress intentionally extended protections to people with disabilities, and would not want to see these protections undermined, especially now, given all we have at stake in this pandemic,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc U.S.
You can review The Arc’s full statement here: https://bit.ly/3bCaVsC
From our friends at the American Association of People with Disabilities:
Congressional leaders are using various strategies to respond to the needs of people during COVID-19. This includes introducing new legislation and issuing letters to federal agencies and Congressional leadership requesting clarification, guidance, and public statements for the record that the needs of people with disabilities are included in Package 4. These include:
- Rep. Jesús "Chuy" García (D-IL) introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2020 (H.R.6637). These legislation reforms policies and expands federal health care resources for racial and ethnic minorities, as well as other underserved populations who face discrimination and barriers to care due to their immigration status, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and English language skills.
- Senate Democrats (Warren, Casey, Gillibrand, Hassan, Brown, Duckworth, Markey and Baldwin) sent a letter to House and Senate leadership about priorities for the next COVID19 relief package. It includes a focus on HCBS funding, protecting civil rights of people with disabilities, and access to PPE.
- On May 8, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Denny Heck (D-WA) announced the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020. The bill provides $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help keep the lowest-income renters stably housed during the COVID-19 crisis.