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Latest COVID-19 Bill Passes U.S. House

Learn more about the HEROES Act that the U.S. House passed. If the Senate passes it, it could benefit the disability community tremendously.

In our last legislative update, we asked you to reach out to your legislators for support of the new COVID-19 bill, which did include significant provisions to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and the providers who support them. And you all delivered! Thank you! The U.S. House did pass the bill on Friday and is now on to the U.S. Senate, where it is expected to receive some push back—which is why our advocacy is even more important!

The HEROES Act includes:

1.  A 10-percent increase in the Medicaid match rate (FMAP), specifically for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program.

2.  Explicitly defining Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) as essential workers.

3.  An additional $100 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, and a specific provision to list HCBS providers among the entities eligible for the funding.

4.  A “Heroes Fund,” which would fund hazard pay for DSPs up to $13 per hour in addition to current wages.

More information about the bill can be viewed here.

In response to the bill passing in the House, seven U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging them to include Medicaid disability providers in funding disbursements from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. To date, Medicaid providers have not been included in any disbursements from the Fund.

Our very own Senator Tina Smith DID sign on to the letter. ANCOR, our national trade association, assisted in writing the letter to HHS.

If you haven’t already yet, please reach out to your senators through the link below. The ARC, another trade association we work with, has already prewritten a message for you to use. All you need to do is fill in your information!

Click here to reach out to your senators. 
Thank you for your advocacy!