Day in Washington Podcast #16 (Legislative Update – Appropriations, SCHIP, Medicaid and Hate Crimes)

Day in Washington- The Disability Policy Podcast explores and discusses various aspects of disability policy. Each episode will cover a specific issue within disability, and/or a disability-related news article. These 5-10 minute podcasts offer an easy to understand introduction to disability policy and resources for those interested in further study. You can find the text of each podcast in the comments.  If you have difficulty downloading the podcast, please right-click and save it to your computer for playback.

Episode Summary:

It is a brand new year, but many of the legislative issues of 2007 still remain. This week’s episode is a status update on a number of issues that have been discussed previously. These concerns include: hate crimes legislation, SCHIP, Medicaid reimbursement  and budget spending.

Audio File:  Day in Washington Podcast #16 – Legislative Update (Appropriations, SCHIP, Medicaid Reimbursement, Hate Crimes)

Show Notes

– Introduction, Date of Podcast

– Appropriations

– State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

– The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (S. 2499)

– Medicaid Moratorium

– Hate Crimes Legislation

– Closing and Contact information

– Disclaimer

Resources

Status of Appropriations Legislation

H.R. 2764 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

PR-USA Web – Air Force One Interview Regarding Omnibus Signing

Washington Times Article – Bush signs SCHIP extension

Healthcare Finance News Article – Bush OKs temporary SCHIP extension

Ed Week Article – Bush Administration to Limit Medicaid Payments to Schools (Registration Required – Article also available via AP)

New York Times, December 10, 2007 – Caving in on Hate Crimes
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/10/opinion/10mon3.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

New York Times, December 7, 2007 – Congress Drops Measure on Hate Crimes
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/washington/07cnd-hate.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1197029565-DsF9gkKrDjOrdI0Ysuw2jA

Associated Press, December 6, 2007 – Congress Drops Hate Crimes Bill
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g-qzyTMhhp_GuUHxzrX_Ew7eguBQD8TC7E200

NOTICE OF ERROR:  I refer to H.R. 2764 as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007.  It is the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008.

1 comment for “Day in Washington Podcast #16 (Legislative Update – Appropriations, SCHIP, Medicaid and Hate Crimes)

  1. admin
    January 2, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Day in Washington – Podcast #16 (January 2, 2008)

    INTRODUCTION

    Welcome to a Day in Washington. Day in Washington is your disability policy podcast covering legislative issues of interest to the disability community. We also spotlight specific bills and other related news articles. I’m your host, Day Al-Mohamed working to make sure you stay informed. This is Podcast #16 for Monday, January 2, 2008.

    Congress is in recess. The House of Representatives will return on January 15 and the Senate returns on January 22.

    It is a brand new year, but many of the legislative issues of 2007 still remain. This week’s episode is a status update on a number of issues that have been discussed previously. These concerns include: hate crimes legislation, SCHIP, Medicaid reimbursement and budget spending.

    APPROPRIATIONS

    For this episode’s review, lets start with money – The President and the Democratic Congress have been at odds over funding levels for domestic programs since last January.

    H.R. 2764, also called the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 is the omnibus spending bill that provides funding for government to run while the remaining 11 spending bills that Congress have not yet passed this year continue to languish. H.R. 2764 passed the Senate by a vote of 76-17 on December 18, followed by the House, the next day with a 272-142 vote and was signed by the President last week.

    Initially, the House and Senate approved domestic spending legislation that was $22 billion over the President’s request. He threatened to veto this legislation. Because the close numbers of Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate make it difficult to obtain the two-thirds majority required to override a veto the legislation has been trimmed by over $11 billion.

    While a few disability programs received small increases, others were level-funded or received small cuts.

    SCHIP

    Now, if you’ve been following the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP (H.R. 3963) and the proposed changes to Medicare and Medicaid, you know that there is a lot of tense discussion and negotiation going on. The first bill (H.R. 976) was passed by Congress, but vetoed by the President. It was revised and Congress passed H.R. 3963 (the revised SCHIP bill), only to have it vetoed again in mid-December.

    On December 12, the House chose to defer the vote to override the presidential veto until January 23. Instead Congress approved the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (S. 2499). The legislation also includes an extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program through March 31, 2009 that provides sufficient funding to avoid funding shortfalls in 2008.

    MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT MORATORIUM

    This legislation also includes a six month (until June 30, 2008) moratorium on the proposed Medicaid rehab option and school based services/transportation regulations.

    This moratorium is vital because on Friday the 21st, the Administration issued a new rule that eliminates Medicaid reimbursement for certain transportation and administrative activities and services that schools provide for students with disabilities.

    Schools have been proven as one of the best means for outreach to children. As a result, a wide range of medical services are now furnished to students in schools such as various forms of speech and physical therapy, psychological services and even immunizations. Medicaid helps pay for those activities for low-income children, however, the new rule will significantly restrict when schools can bill the federal government for activities they perform that are associated with providing health care.

    I have to admit that I have some concerns that with the issuance of the final rule coming so close to the declaration of the moratorium the impact will be small and schools will be forced into submitting to this rule to protect themselves from liability, costs and fines from the Federal government.

    HATE CRIMES LEGISLATION

    And finally, rather disappointing news on the hate crimes legislation front. Late last year, hate crime language was added to the Defense Authorization bill, a must-pass piece of legislation, in hopes that would increase the chances for passage of the hate crime protection for women, gay, lesbian and transgender individuals, and also, people with disabilities.

    In early December House Democratic leaders reported that they just did not have enough votes to adopt a conference report for the defense authorization bill if it included language on hate crimes.

    Senate leaders insisted on including it in the final version, but House leaders concluded that it would doom the measure in their Chamber, leaving it about 40 votes short of passage. In addition, there was considerable concern that the President would veto the bill if it included the Hate Crimes language.

    Hate Crimes legislation has been introduced every year since the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay Wyoming college student; the majority of the time (although this is often overlooked by the media) the measures have also included “disability” as a protected class.

    This year was the first time both chambers passed the language in the same year. However, I have to admit that for this Congress, and this time (leading into an election year), we have probably lost the best opportunity to enact hate-crimes legislation until 2009. Regardless, efforts will continue to get this very much needed measure passed.

    CLOSING

    And that is it for this week’s edition of Day in Washington. For links to more information, please check the show notes. Please feel free to contact me at http://www.dayinwashington.com regarding comments or suggestions. I’d love to hear from you, but for now, this is your host, Day reminding you to stay well and stay informed.

    EPILOGUE

    Music for this podcast was provided by the podsafe music network @ podsafemusicnetwork.com. The music was composed and performed by 2012 and can be found at http://www.twentytwelverecords.com.

    Any opinions and perspectives expressed in this podcast should not be taken as the official stance of any group or organization affiliated with the host. In addition, none of the facts, data, or grammar have been checked for accuracy.

    Thank you for listening.

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