Health Care Policy & Legislation Updates
Policy and Legislation Committee Offers Draft Wording for Review
On 22 July 2014, President Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The legislation includes significant changes to Title II of the Rehabilitation Act pertaining to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR), including amendments previously proposed by ACRM and others. A draft ACRM statement applauding Congressional action that made these changes is available for review and comment. Responses to any questions will be announced in eNews.
Review Draft ACRM Statement
Congressional Leaders Announced Bipartisan/Bicameral Agreement Reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act and Rehabilitation Act (May 21, 2014)
On May 21, 2014 congressional leaders announced a bipartisan/bicameral agreement reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The bill number is H.R. 803 and the short title of the bill is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. View the bill, a section-by-section analysis prepared by congressional staff, and a one-page summary here.
The following documents may also be of interest to ACRM members. The NIDRR Reauthorization Agreement summarizes the key changes to Title II of the Rehabilitation Act (Research and Training).
The Redline of Title II Amendments compares the language in the bill to current law by indicating deleted language by using “strike-through” and by indicating new language by using bold and underline.
The Senate is expected to act within a month, followed by the House. The President has indicated he will sign the bill. You may contact Robert “Bobby” Silverstein, Principal of Powers, Pyles, Sutter and Verville, PC with questions, direct: 202.872.6754.
DOD Request for Information: Ongoing Blast Injury Prevention Standards Recommendation (BIPSR) Process (February 6, 2014)
The BIPSR Process is currently focused on Human Lower Extremities (LE) Blast Injury Prevention Standards. The LE includes: lower limb, femur, knee, tibia, ankle (talus), foot and heel (calcaneus). The BIPSR Process injury types of interest are Fracture, Vascular Injury, Nerve Injury, Muscular Injury, Ligament and Tendon Injury, Traumatic amputation, and Dermal Burns.
The BIPSR Process identified a need to define injury criteria and test methods to establish thresholds for protective systems designed to protect the military service members’ lower extremities from all blast injury categories and types in their respective operational environments. MORE
January 2014 Status Update on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the U. S. Congress
Reported by Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, PC
The negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are currently at a stand-still in Congress. The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last held a hearing on the matter on Thursday, 21 November 2013. During the hearing, testimony as given by Secretary of State John Kerry; Frances W. West, Worldwide Director, Human Ability & Accessibility Center; C. Boyden Gray, Former White House Counsel and Ambassador MORE >>>
Washington, DC: A large coalition of rehabilitation, disability, research, and provider organizations endorsed federal legislation intended to improve, coordinate and enhance rehabilitation research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address the needs of people with injuries, illnesses, disabilities and chronic conditions.
The Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC) commended Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) for their bipartisan introduction of S. 1027, the Kirk/Johnson Rehabilitation Improvement Act, to spotlight the importance of advancing rehabilitation research at NIH and across other federal agencies. MORE.
On 10 April 2013, President Obama released his FY 2014 budget, two months after the official deadline by which the President is legally obligated to offer a spending proposal for the next fiscal year. His budget totals $3.77 trillion for 2014 and includes $580 billion in tax increases and over $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years to achieve a total of $1.8 trillion of additional deficit reduction. While the President’s proposal brings the deficit down to 1.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2023, it does not eliminate the annual deficit entirely. MORE
Act locally to defend research funding. Now is the time to reach out to your Representatives and tell them that health services research, and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, must be protected.
Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
FY 2012 Appropriation Bill
On February 6, 2012, ACRM submitted comments on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality draft report, Multidisciplinary Postacute Rehabilitation for Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. ACRM comments address concerns that the report reveals:
- Inadequate understanding of TBI post-acute rehabilitation;
- Deficiencies in the methodology;
- Insufficient consideration of the unintended consequences of paper on individuals with TBI and their families;
- Lack of recognition of the fiscal implications of the recommendations calling for a comprehensive research agenda; and
- Lack of summary comments.
By Robert “Bobby” Silverstein, Principal
Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville PC
MARCH 21, 2012 – Yesterday, the House Democrats introduced the Workforce Investment Act of 2012. The provisions relating to NIDRR and disability and rehabilitation research are virtually identical to the provisions in the bipartisan Senate bill marked up last year. The Senate bill includes many of the recommendations made by DRRC. The House bill includes what is referred to as “cut and bite” amendments, which means that the bill amends current law by striking certain language and inserting other language. If you have not memorized current law, it is virtually impossible to figure out what is being proposed. To facilitate understanding of what’s in the bill, please review the red-line version of Senate draft (changes reflected in current law). There is no red-line version of the House Democrats bill. Below are the major categories of changes included in the House Democrats bill:
- Reaffirms the focus of NIDRR on the research domains of employment, community participation (independent living), and health and function as well as assistive technology and disability demographics.
- Promotes the implementation of evidence-based practices and emphasize the importance of knowledge translation and new methods of sharing and disseminating information.
- Expands the list of designated members of the ICDR.
- Directs ICDR to host a disability and rehabilitation research summit that will establish a strategic plan for disability and rehabilitation research conducted by federal agencies.