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NCD releases final report in series on ACA and people with disabilities

February 24th, 2016  |  Deborah Hammonds

Earlier this month, the National Council on Disability (NCD) released its final report of a three-part series on people with disabilities and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The report, Monitoring and Enforcing the Affordable Care Act for People with Disabilities, analyzes key legal safeguards in ACA implementation regulations that can help people with disabilities secure essential care and supports.

Recognizing some of the steps taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to assist members of the public in navigating the relatively new law and its proposed rules, the report also includes questions in each chapter designed to raise awareness about potential options and topics to consider after the rule becomes final. In addition, the report outlines legal duties; identifies those responsible for fulfilling those duties; and explores some potential avenues for redress where applicable.

NCD states that its goal for this report is to flag issues for monitoring by the disability community to ensure that people with disabilities fully share in ACA’s promised gains while avoiding potential risks posed by ACA. The report is designed to provide a starting point for people with disabilities and their advocates, facilitating in the process of spotting issues that may warrant further work. The agency also notes that much of its analysis in the report is necessarily provisional as many key ACA provisions have not received judicial interpretation. Many important regulations remain subject to revision.

The full report is available on NCD’s website. The first two reports in the series, Implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA): A Roadmap for People with Disabilities and The Impact of the Affordable Care Act: A 2015 Status Report, are also available on the agency’s website, www.ncd.gov.

Submitted to President Obama on February 2, the report is the result of NCD’s cooperative agreement with the Urban Institute in NCD’s study called “The Affordable Care Act and What It Means for People with Disabilities.” NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.

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