Due to COVID-19, AdvocacyDenver office will be closed to outside visitors until further notice. Our staff will be working in the office and/or remotely and will be able to participate in meetings virtually. We recognize that there is still important work to do, and we’re striving to perform those vital services while helping stop the community spread of COVID 19.[Read more…] about Latest COVID-19 Information by and for People with Disabilities
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department) will be providing multiple opportunities for stakeholder engagement regarding potential changes to the HCBS-DD waiver waiting list management.[Read more…] about Home and Community Based Services – Developmental Disabilities (HCBS-DD) Waiver – Waiting List Stakeholder Engagement Announcement
An Interview with Catherine Strode
The national Arc is fighting a 2018 ruling in a Texas U.S. District Court that determined the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. That case is now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Arc has joined 14 other national organizations representing people with disabilities in filing an amicus brief appealing to reverse the lower court’s decision.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Arc of the United States, Peter Berns, has called the lower court’s decision “an extraordinary threat” for people with disabilities and their families. He says if the ACA is taken off the books, it will set the advocacy efforts for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) back 70 years.
From The Desk of Pamela Bisceglia
At different times, over the years, I had an opportunity to stand with Carrie Ann Lucas on issues important to the community of individuals with disabilities. I cannot report that we were Facebook friends, we did not meet for lunch or dinner or discuss our personal lives. I knew Carrie as a bright, firm, determined parent, attorney, advocate, and community leader. If there was a question in relation to the rights of parents with disabilities, Carrie was the expert.[Read more…] about Last Interview
The Arc of the United States is actively opposing the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. It is rare for the national Arc to oppose judicial nominations. The last time the United States Arc opposed a judicial nomination was more than 30 years ago.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Peter Berns, says Judge Kavanaugh represents values and a philosophy that are regressive for individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities. He is urging Arc chapters across the country to speak out against the Kavanaugh nomination to their U.S. Senators, asking them for a “NO” vote on his Supreme Court nomination.
In this interview with Catherine Strode, Peter Berns cites specific decisions written by Judge Kavanaugh that are found to be offensive by the national Arc. Berns says these decisions in the areas of health care, education, and employment threaten the independence and well-being of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
The Washington DC House of Representatives successfully passed H.R. 6042 that would delay by one year the implementation of Electronic Visit Verification. Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is a tracking system that requires electronic verification of when a person receives Medicaid funded personal care or home health services. The bill that has passed the House extends the deadline to January 1, 2020 for implementing EVV for personal care services. A Senate vote on the bill is expected in July
Nicole Jorwic, Director of Rights Policy at The Arc of the United States, calls the delay of EVV a ‘civil rights issue.’ She says the delay is important because it will give stakeholders the opportunity to work out the challenges of privacy protection.
Over 30,000 Coloradans receiving Home and Community Based Services through the state will be impacted by the federal mandate of electronic visit verification (EVV.) The federal mandate goes into effect on the first day of January 2019. The verification system must be in place in order to continue to receive a 50 percent match from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Stakeholder groups are meeting with representatives from the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing throughout the state to become educated about the verification system requirements.
In an interview with Catherine Strode, the state’s Director of Benefits and Services explains Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), how the state will implement it and what concerns are being expressed by clients and providers. In Part One of this interview, Colin Laughlin explains how Colorado will do a “soft rollout” of the Electronic Visit Verification with the formost concern being protection of privacy. [Read more…] about State Prepares for Electronic Visit Verification Rollout
Seven months ago, Christiano Sosa took over the helm of the Arc of Colorado. During that time, he united the state’s 14 Chapters around the 2018 legislative agenda. That agenda produced five prioritized bills that all successfully passed.
In an interview with Catherine Strode, Christiano reflects on this legislative progress and offers his vision moving forward. Part of that vision includes a statewide listening tour he will kick off this June.
An Interview with Catherine Strode
One of the state’s most vocal political opponents of legalized marijuana has helped pass a bill to allow pharmacies to dispense pharmaceutical marijuana. State Senator John Cooke, a retired sheriff from Weld County, pulls no punches in saying he believes marijuana to be a ‘scourge’ on the state. However, he has cosponsored and helped pass House Bill 18-1187 that makes a technical fix to Colorado pharmacy law that prevents pharmacies from dispensing drug products that contain marijuana or marijuana concentrate.
In an interview with Catherine Strode, Senator Cooke says his sponsorship of HB18-1187 is an attempt to aid children suffering from severe forms of epilepsy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing a drug containing cannabidiol (CBD) to treat a rare form of resistant pediatric epilepsy called Epidiolex. With the passage of HB18-1187, Colorado parents can obtain cannabidiol to treat the disease if approved by the FDA.
An Interview with Catherine Strode
A movement is underway across the state to build a broad coalition of people who will register to vote and elect pro Medicaid and pro disability candidates. The goal is to elect candidates, both at the state and national level, who will not cut vital supports that enable community living for people with disabilities.
Julie Reiskin, Executive Director of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), has helped implement solutions in the state for a sustainable Medicaid program. A respected advocate and health policy analyst, she championed consumer direction as a care delivery model.
In an interview with Catherine Strode, she explains how the “Vote4Medicaid” movement got started and why it is essential for all Coloradans to support it.