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CALL TO ACTION: Contact Congress
Republicans now have a plan for the next COVID-19 assistance package. It is very different from the plan from the Democrats. Congress and the White... Read More...
ACTION ALERT: Congressional COVID Relief Needs Disability Focus
Senate Republicans continued to hammer out the details of a fourth COVID-19 relief package, which Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) has... Read More...
Iowans with Disabilities Face Danger, Isolation During COVID-19
The Des Moines Register featured a great article on the challenges Iowans with disabilities face during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Titled "Iowans with... Read More...
Governor Finishes Signing 2020 Bills into Law
Governor Kim Reynolds finished signing the 113 bills sent to her during this year's legislative session.  She line-item vetoed the budget bill,... Read More...
DD Council Ask Governor to Veto Changes to Voting by Mail
The Iowa Legislative Session finsihed its work on June 14; our next issue of infoNET will be published after the Govenror takes action on the 113... Read More...

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MCO Language & Funding for HCBS Services
While we have not yet seen a Health/Human Services budget, the Senate is putting a “shell” together and beginning to negotiate with the House. Two things that are being discussed that you might want to take acton on:
  • Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) Requirements: The House wants language that outlines certain expectations for Medicaid MCOs, similar to what is in HF 2483. Included in this list is a requirement that DHS approve and have final say in the level of care assessments, and requires MCOs follow these decisions. It also says that if the level of care assessment finds no change, then services are to remain the same (so the MCO cannot eliminate or reduce services if there has been no change in the assessment).
  • Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) Tiered Rates Funding: Last fall, DHS moved forward in implementing tiered rates for HCBS providers. Legislation required they do this in a way that didn’t increase budgets, so 1/3 of the providers saw an increase in these bundled rates, while 1/3 saw a decrease in funding. The remaining 1/3 saw no change in funding. It was clear that the funding was not enough to maintain services, so legislators are considering an increase to help with those tiered rates.
If either of these issues is important to you - or if you have other issues that need to be addressed in the budget - contact your legislators now! You can do that using our Action Center here.
Home Modification Program
We are getting down to the wire, with session ending sometime in the next two weeks (knock on wood).
Legislators have not yet taken action on a bill that would give some Iowans with disabilities up to $5,000 to modify their homes to make them more accessible. Bills that would have created this grant program died earlier this year.
Since this issue is funding-related, supporters are asking for lawmakers to add $600,000 to the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) budget to jump start this program. Those that would like to see this program funded are being asked to contact their legislators, as well as the decision-makers on the Transportation & Infrastructure Budget Subcommittee:
We have an advocacy campaign ready to go - with the message already written (although you may want to modify it to include your own personal stories).