Please Urge Your Senators to Pass the Build Back Better Act!

Congress is Working on the Biggest Expansion of Services for People with Autism

BACKGROUND

On November 19, the House of Representatives passed its version of the bill.  The House contains the following provisions supported by the Autism Society of America, among others:

 

Home and Community-Based Services

  • $150 billion over 10 years for home and community-based services (HCBS) to eliminate waiting lists for services and bolster pay for direct care worker
  • Making the Money Follows the Person program which infuses funding into the home and community infrastructure permanent 

Education and Child Care

  • $390 billion investment in universal, accessible, preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds
  • $160 million investment in IDEA Part D to help develop personnel working with students with disabilities
  • $25 million investment for behavioral health needs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Families earning up to 250% of the state median income will not have to pay more than 7% of their income on childcare

Housing

  • $150 billion investment in affordable housing supports, including funding for vouchers, rental assistance, and other public housing improvements
  • The proposal also includes a $100 million investment in Section 811 and 202 programs for people with disabilities to provide rental assistance and to create more supportive housing

Paid Leave and Child Tax Credit

  • 4 weeks of guaranteed paid and medical leave for all workers, which will help people with disabilities take time off for medical reasons and will help family members to provide care for a loved one without risk of losing their job
  • Extending the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which provides more than 35 million households up to $3,600 per year in tax cuts per child; the proposed legislation will extend this program for the year of 2022, providing payments to nearly 90% of American children

Health Care

  • Closes the Medicaid coverage gap for 4 million uninsured people by extending affordable Marketplace coverage to low-income people in non-expansion states
  • Expanding hearing benefits to the traditional Medicaid program
  • Permanently reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Extends continuous 12 month eligibility in Medicaid for children and adolescents
  • Extends COVID-related premiums supports and cost-sharing reductions in ACA Marketplace coverage through 2025 -- meaning more people can afford the premiums to buy coverage and have low enough cost sharing to use it

Employment

  • Disability employment supports, including funding for pre-apprenticeship programs and funding to businesses and organizations that are working to phase out programs that pay people with disabilities subminimum wages


ACTION NEEDED:

Contact your Senators and urge them to pass this bill stressing how it impacts the Autism community, especially the increase in HCBS funding. 

Provide personal stories about how waiting lists for services in your state or how having services has helped you have a high-quality life.

Include stories about how other resources such as funding for competitive integrated employment, funding for special education, and funding for family support are crucial for you. 

Dial 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected with your Senators or use this customizable action alert to send a letter.

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