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Disability Action Center NW

Katherine's Updates -March 11, 2011

Legislative Update – Special Update(Week 9)

Committee Makes Changes to HB 221 to protect Services for People with Disabilities

The House Health and Welfare Committee voted yesterday to change HB221 based on the many concerns they heard at the public hearing on Tuesday. They voted to eliminate three key areas of concern:

  1. The elimination of developmental therapy for adults who do not qualify for the DD waiver;
  2. The requirement for adults who are 45 years of age to move from the DD to the A&D waiver; and
  3. The requirement for all PSR services to be approved by a psychiatrist (this was changed to “direct H&W to create a utilization management tool for PSR”).

It is important that we recognize and thank the committee members for their support of these changes. I had the opportunity to meet with many of them on Wednesday and they shared how grateful they were for the testimony that was given at the Public Hearing on Tuesday. They acknowledged that this was not an area that they felt should be cut to meet their budget goals.

Please join me in writing to each of these members and thank them for their support of these changes. In addition, it is important that we also write to encourage House and Senate members to support this Medicaid bill when it reaches the House and Senate floors. There will be a new bill number given to the revised bill on Monday.

I want to personally thank all those who took the time to write, call or come to Boise and testify. YOU are the voices for so many Idahoans and I am pleased to share that today that voice was heard.

I look forward to keeping you informed as this bill moves through the legislature. And I look forward to sharing with you information on other related legislation. We still may need to voice our support for legislation to increase revenues to balance the state budget. Rep. Lake is still waiting to introduce his tobacco tax legislation until there is enough support in the House Revenue and Taxation Committee. I will let you know when and how we can help support this legislation.

Thank you again for ALL your help and support these past couple of months. Medicaid does Matter in Idaho because People with Disabilities Matter in Idaho! Keep checking our website for updates We need to stay involved to make a difference!

Feel free to send me your questions and comments.

Katherine Hansen