Welcome to the SNA Capitol Connection! The SNA is dedicated to promoting responsible public policies that meet the many needs of individuals with disabilities, and this newsletter is designed to give our readers a snapshot of these important issues.
Seven years ago, the SNA's Public Policy Committee was created to assist the organization's leadership in identifying, evaluating, and monitoring policy trends - including legislative, regulatory, and judicial - that impact individuals with special needs, and advise the SNA's leadership on opportunities for advocacy and member engagement. Since that time, the Committee has worked in a variety of ways to become more involved in the public policy process at the national level, including tracking legislation important to the special needs community, providing written testimony on pending legisla- tion, becoming actively involved in the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, and producing the award-winning Capitol Connection newsletter.
Welcome to 2013! We begin this New Year with a new Congress - the 113th. The new members took their oath of office in early January and with that, they are off and running for the next two years, proposing and adopting - or not - legislation which affects all of us and especially those of us working in the special needs space. Because of this, we thought our traditional Newsmaker Profile should focus on this new Congress, taking a look at the new leadership, committees of jurisdiction important to us and caucuses. As Congress gets to work, the SNA Public Policy Committee begins to track and monitor legislation as it is introduced and will inform you when bills important to us come up and what you can do about them.
In this edition, you'll read a detailed article on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) written by SNA member and member of the Public Policy Committee Mary Alice Jackson, an attorney with Boyer Jackson from the Sunshine State, Florida. Ms. Jackson has been with the firm since 1995 and focuses exclusively in the area of elder law, with an emphasis in special needs trusts for persons with disabilities, long term care and incapacity planning, guardianship, probate and end-of-life issues. Her article on the ACA begins with this introductory phrase: ?The proof of the pudding is in the eating.? Now that is one unique way of introducing one of the biggest changes to health care in America in decades! Read on to learn more!
As this election year goes full throttle, the Special Needs Alliance cranks up our work as well. One of the functions of the Public Policy Committee is to track federal legislation as it relates to disability issues. Currently, we are tracking nearly a dozen bills in the U.S. Congress and it's vital that we stay on top of these, monitoring their progress and taking a position if and when called for.
In this issue we begin by taking a look at the new officers of the SNA who were elected in the fall. They are our leadership for the next year and as such carry the burden of advancing our collective benefit as a non-profit alliance working to advance the interests of both those with special needs and their families and friends.
When it comes to public policy and legislative affairs, summer is often associated with a slowing down of activities. This past summer proved an exception, however, with movement on raising the debt ceiling coming down to the proverbial wire and producing both drama and an agreement. With that out of the way, for now, we can focus on other issues as Congress returns to Washington, DC in late summer. Beginning in the fall, they'll be taking up pending legislation, some of which is important to special needs families and attorneys. In this issue, we give you a summary of what, where, when and who.
In this issue, we are honored to have Iowa Senator Tom Harkin in our Newsmaker Profile in this spring edition. The junior Senator from the Hawkeye State has a long and impressive record on health-care issues, specifically in working with and advocating for individuals with disabilities.
In this issue, we review ongoing advocacy discussed by senior federal government officials at the recent National Summit on Disability Policy in Washington, D.C. We also continue our focus on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) with a detailed look at the Pre- existing Condition Insurance Plans being implemented as a stopgap for Americans who are without insurance due to pre-existing conditions until the law’s full implementation in 2014.
In this issue, as a follow up to our previous issue’s overview of the ways in which healthcare reform may impact the disability community, we include a more detailed look at the changes to Medicare brought on by healthcare reform.
In this issue, our primary focus is the effects of healthcare reform on the disability community. In addition, we have included an update on a recent ruling in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that has troubling implications for special needs trusts.
In this inaugural issue you will read about pending legislation on the two-year wait for Medicare eligibility, allowing military retirement pensions to go into a special needs trust, and the new federal "ABLE" proposals
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