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Washington DC Update 6/10/2020
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SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

Alert: Watch out for potential scams related to government assistance to taxpayers impacted by the coronavirus. See:

CMV is the most common infectious cause of birth defects in the United States. CDC takes this opportunity to increase awareness of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) among healthcare providers, pregnant women, and parents. See the CMV Resource Center.

Greetings from Washington, DC
For the first time in recent memory, the news in DC has been dominated by something other than the coronavirus pandemic – the issue of systemic racism and law-enforcement treatment of Black Americans, which many experts view as a public health issue . See the 2019 Policy Statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health . Pediatrics  Aug 2019, 144 (2) e20191765. Read below for an update on a bill introduced in the House and Senate to address policing practices, and read on for health-policy information and resources related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Congress
  • Coronavirus News, Information, and Resources
  • Congress
  • Medicaid and CHIP
  • Civil Rights/Health Equity
  • Paid Leave
  • Access to Medications
  • Telehealth
  • Medical, Scientific, Other Coronavirus Information
  • Other COVID News, Information, & Resources
  • TRICARE and Military Health System (COVID and non-COVID issues)
  • Other News, Information, and Resources
  • Your Input Sought
  • Upcoming Webinars and Calls
  • Of Possible Interest
House and Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Address Policing Practices
On June 8, the Justice in Policing Act was introduced in the House by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Quoting from Chairman Nadler: “…[the bill will ensure] that our law enforcement agencies adhere to the very highest standards in training, hiring and de-escalation strategies to address systemic racism and bias to change the culture of law enforcement in America and ultimately save lives.” See Rep. Bass Press Release, 6/8/20).
The same bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). When introduced, the House bill had 166 cosponsors and the Senate bill had 35 cosponsors. Among other things, the bill would:
  • Ban chokeholds
  • Ban no-knock warrants in drug cases
  • Establish a national standard for use of force
  • End qualified immunity for police
  • Establish a National Police Misconduct Registry
  • Reprogram existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs
  • Streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations

For details, see this Fact Sheet and this Section-by-Section summary. See also Democrats’ sweeping new police reform bill, explained (Vox, 6/8/20). The House bill will be considered in the Judiciary Committee soon, and House leaders have predicted that it will pass the full House. It is not likely that the House bill will advance in the Senate in its current form since the president opposes it, but that body may craft its own bill. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a hearing on police use of force next week. According to the White House Press Secretary, the president is "looking at a number of proposals." See White House Says Key Piece Of Democrats’ Policing Act Is A 'Non-Starter'. (Forbes, 6/8/20); Democrats Propose Sweeping Police Overhaul; Trump Criticizes (WRC, NBC4, Washington, DC, 6/8/20). 

Coronavirus Legislation
As detailed in the May 19 Washington Update, the House passed a comprehensive package to address health and financial issues related to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-May. The Senate has not acted on that bill or developed any legislation of its own, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated that he prefers to wait a while to take any further action. As See McConnell: Talking about fifth coronavirus bill 'in the next month or so' (The Hill, 5/26/20).
Senate Bill to Protect Family Caregivers from Discrimination
On June 5, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Protecting Family Caregivers from Discrimination Act ( S. 3878 ). As explained in this press release , the bill would prohibit employers from firing, demoting, mistreating, refusing to hire, or taking other adverse employment action against workers who are caregivers for their loved ones. The bill would also establish a grant program to help prevent such discrimination.
Medicaid and CHIP

Policy Cheat Sheet Series:
Translating COVID-19's Impact on Medicaid Policy
The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has developed a series of informal guides, or "cheat sheets," about Medicaid policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To this point, the series includes three sheets: 
COVID-19, State Budget Deficits, and Medicaid Managed Care (Georgetown Center for Children and Families blog, 5/26/20).
This post explains how states can help reduce their budget shortfalls by adjusting policies related to payment of their managed care organizations (MCOs).
Civil Rights/Health Equity

This perspective piece discusses discrimination against people with disabilities during COVID-19, and suggests policies that states and hospitals could implement to respect disability rights.

Paid Leave

Guide and Forms for Requesting Leave or Accommodations
The Center for WorkLife Law has issued Guides for Requesting Leave or Accommodations Needed Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. From that page, you can click through specific topics to find fillable forms with all the information required legally required for an employer to grant a leave request.

Compilation of Families First and CARES Act Paid Leave Benefits:

The above were developed by the Ohio Women's Public Policy Network, Policy Matters Ohio, PL+US, and Innovation Ohio, but are applicable nationwide. They are current as of April 30, 2020, and will be updated as needed based on additional legislative measures or rules. No applicable federal legislation has been enacted since then.

See also Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave Provisions in FFCRA and CARES Act [ online; PDF](Center for Law and Social Policy, 5/6/20) 
Access to Medications

Information for patients about how to access medications, from the Community Access National Network (CANN) and the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM). Download the CANN-PSM Fact Sheet.  
Related Resource Worth Repeating:
HealthcareReady.org --COVID-19 Resources for the Healthcare and Public Health Community (in association with PhRMA) – This resource provides toolkits for individuals and patients, state-level insurance emergency orders on prescription refills, tips to protect oneself from COVID-19, and telehealth coverage policies for COVID-19. Among the resources:

“A top Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official acknowledged that telehealth is here to stay after an explosion of use due to COVID-19 but hedged on whether new regulatory flexibility on reimbursement is going to stick around.”
Medical, Scientific, Other Coronavirus Information

6 feet of distance may not be enough to stop coronavirus transmission, experts now say (Changing America, The Hill, 5/28/20), referring to Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (Science 27 May 2020:eabc6197).

But somewhat contradictory information is provided by the World Health Organization: The Health 202: WHO says asymptomatic people usually don't spread coronavirus. Experts doubt that. (PowerPost, Washington Post, 6/9/20)
Other COVID News, Information, and Resources


Did a nursing home or assisted living facility take your stimulus check? (Federal Trade Commission blog, 5/15/20) – It has been reported that some nursing homes and assisted living facilities are trying to take their patients stimulus payments when the patients are covered by Medicaid. This is not permitted because the payments are not counted as resources for the purposes of Medicaid (or any other federal program). This FTC blog explains what to do if this happens to a loved one.
October 15 Deadline for Non-Filers to Provide Information to IRS to get Stimulus Payments
On June 3, the IRS announced that its non-filer tool will be available until October 15. Through the non-filer tool information can be provided to the IRS by people eligible for the Economic Impact (stimulus) Payment who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who do not receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement benefits, or Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension benefits.

From the Social Security Administration (SSA) : On May 14, the SSA updated its guide,  Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and SSI Recipients – Steps to Take and Schedule of Payments . This guide can be used to quickly and easily determine whether it is necessary to take any action to receive your economic impact payment, or a payment for your qualifying child. The document also explains when the Internal Revenue Service, not the Social Security Administration, will issue the payment.
SSA Important Note: If you already have a scheduled appointment, the SSA will attempt to contact you by phone and/or reschedule for a telephone appointment. The call may come from a PRIVATE number and not from a U.S. Government phone.  Some scammers are trying to take advantage of this situation . Please remember that SSA employees will never threaten you or ask for any form of immediate payment.
Resources related to COVID-19 and the disability community (Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies).
This 21-page document is continuously updated. Additional resources can be sent to dart@disasterstrategies.org .
COVID-19 State Resource Guide (Manatt Health) provides information on ways to safeguard access to long-term services and supports for high-risk individuals during COVID-19.
Mental Health Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
COVID-19 Resources for Indigenous Peoples (Arizona State University) provides links to resources to indigenous-centric resources from numerous sources.
State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
WORTH REPEATING: Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health
The foundation has a COVID-19 webpage with information for families, caregivers, state agencies, and advocates of children with special health care needs. Resources are updated regularly. 
-          5/28/20 TRICARE Plan Options for Young Adults

Download the latest TRICARE East Region or TRICARE West Region newsletter at www.tricare.mil/publications.

Sign up for  email alerts , and keep up with  TRICARE and COVID-19 updates.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Behavioral Health Services in Separate State CHIP Programs: Is Your State in Compliance? (Georgetown Center for Children and Families blog, 5/29/20). This blog post discusses the new requirement for states with separate CHIP programs to ensure that they meet the mental health (including behavioral health) needs of children and pregnant women.
Health Equity
A Pledge to Do Better (Faculty of the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms, 6/3/20) -- Calling for input on how the Center’s research and policy analysis can promote understanding of the challenges facing communities of color.
Family Presence

NEW National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters – Applications for Membership – due June 27.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Secretary, has announced the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters (NACCD). The Office of the Secretary is now accepting application submissions from qualified individuals who wish to be considered for membership on the NACCD. See Notice published in the Federal Register.

Asian American and Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander in-language COVID-19 resources 
The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) has launched a crowd-sourcing project to collect Asian American and Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander in-language COVID-19 resources. APIAHF will gather all of the responses and organize them by language here, so that people can see the variety of available resources. Please fill out the form here to submit a resource. 
Wednesday, June 10, 12:30-1:45 ET
National Family Support Network

Wednesday, June 10, 2:00-3:30 ET
Systems of Care Leadership Learning Community 
Thursday, June 11, 2:00 PM
Child Trends

Tuesday, June 16, 10:00 AM ET
Episode 1:   Thursday, June 18 , 11:00-12:00 ET Register Here
Episode 2:   Tuesday, June 23 , 11:00-12:00 ET  Register Here
The National Resource Center for Patient/Family-Centered Medical Home, in partnership with Bright Futures National Center, and the Screening, Technical Assistance, and Resource (STAR) Center
Thursday, June 18, 2:00-3:15 ET
The Arc
Monday, June 22, 2:00-3:30 ET
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Wednesday, June 24, 1:00-4:00 ET
Coalition to Transform Advanced Care
Thursday, June 25, 3:00 ET
Aligning for Health

Tuesday, June 30, 2:30-4:00 ET
Systems of Care Leadership Learning Community 
American Red Cross
COVID-19 – 22‑minute video featuring the father of a young adult who requires 24-hour care interviewing a home health provider about how care is changing (Child Neurology Foundation)

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Family Voices  is a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities that promotes partnership with families--including those of cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity--in order to improve healthcare services and policies for children.