Online Program

Disability, the affordable care act, and health: On the eve of 'going live'

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Barbara Kornblau, JD, OTR, FAOTA, Division of Occupational Therapy, Florida A&M Univeristy, School of Allied Health Science, Arlington, VA
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides many provisions that benefit the health of people with disabilities. These provisions include data collection, disability health disparities, disabilities in “cultural competence,” accessible medical equipment standards, the community choice option, and anti-discrimination. In Florida v. HHS, the Supreme Court eliminated mandatory state Medicaid expansion. Most remaining ACA provisions will be implemented in 2014, including voluntary Medicaid expansion and health care exchanges. As ACA implementation begins, new policies have emerged. This presentation looks at the current status of ACA, on the eve of its major implementation, and its impact on disability and health. It examines the states participating in the community choice option, Medicaid expansion, and health care exchanges. It analyzes regulations involved in implementation, disability-specific issues raised during the regulatory process, and steps taken by disability advocates to promote program access. For example, issues arose with people with disabilities and proposed policies for employer-based wellness programs. Also addressed is how 'habilitation' – one of the new ‘essential health benefit' under ACA - will be defined. Issues with co-pays and whether the cumulative effect of multiple co-pays by people with disabilities surpasses the intended ‘nominal co-pays' standard also will be discussed. Participants will gain an understanding of the current status of many of the disability and health issues raised by the imminent implementation of ACA. Should additional legal challenges surface on the eve of implementation, this presentation will provide a legal analysis of the potential impact on the health of people with disabilities.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current status of five of the disability and health issues raised by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Analyze of the status of states’ participating in the community choice option, the Medicaid expansion, and the health care exchanges. Discuss the regulations involved in implementation, the disability-specific issues raised during the regulatory comment periods, and the steps taken by disability advocates to promote access to programs.

Keyword(s): Disability Policy, Health Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I drafted much of the disability-related language found in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) related to data collection, health disparities and cultural competence. I was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow. I founded the Coalition for Disability Health Equity, which advocates for the implementation of the disability provisions in ACA. As an attorney, I have followed the legal challenges to ACA and analyzed their potential impact on health care for people with disabilities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.