May 04, 2012

May 4 Washington Update


Greetings from Washington.  Congress has been on recess this week, and no new health care reform regulations were issued, so today's update will be brief.  Note, however, a funding opportunity from SAMHSA and an addition to the list of cosponsors for the F2F funding bill.

 

F2F funding bills

We are happy to report that Representative André Carson (D-IN) has joined as another cosponsor of the House bill to extend funding for F2Fs (H.R. 4083), giving us 10 House cosponsors in addition to sponsor Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ).  The Senate bill (S. 2123), sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), still has six cosponsors. 

If you visited the Hill last week, please remember to follow up with the staffers with whom you met to thank them for the meeting and to send them any additional information that might enhance their understanding of your work, such as other family stories and/or a video like those shown at the end of the grantee meeting.  If you gave them hard copies of state data, etc., you may want to send them electronic copies.  Please copy or blind copy Brooke and me when you correspond with the Hill staffers. 

As always, we remind you to thank your Senator(s) and Representative have cosponsored the legislation, if you haven't already. You can find their contact information by clicking on their names on the list of cosponsors at the end of this update.

If your Members of Congress have not yet cosponsored the legislation, please contact them to ask that they do so.  See guidance at the end of this update or click here now to send a pre-drafted letter to your Representative. 


SAMHSA grants for Statewide Family Network Programs.  At least from the wording of the May 3 announcement, it looks like this grant program might provide a funding opportunity for F2Fs.  The deadline is May 18.

FROM SAMHSA ANNOUNCEMENT:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for Statewide Family Network Program grants totaling up to $1.3 million over the course of a three year period.  The purpose of this program is to enhance State capacity and infrastructure to be more oriented to the needs of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances and their families by providing information, referrals, and support to families who have a child with a serious emotional disturbance, and to create a mechanism for families to participate in State and local mental health services planning and policy development. 

SAMHSA expects that up to $1.3 million will be available for up to 7 grants of up to $60,000 per grant annually, for up to a three year grant period. Up to two grantees will receive up to an additional $10,000 per year for projects that include a youth leadership component. The actual award amounts may vary, depending on the availability of funds.

WHO CAN APPLY: Domestic public and private nonprofit entities that meet the criteria for family-controlled organizations that are not recipients of a SAMHSA Statewide Family Network grant in fiscal year 2010 - 2013 are eligible to apply. [See Section III-1 of the RFA for complete eligibility information.]

HOW TO APPLY:  You may request a complete application package from SAMHSA for SM-12-001 at 1-877-SAMHSA7 [TDD: 1-800-487-4889].

You also may download the required documents from the SAMHSA Web site at http://www.samhsa.gov/grants/apply.aspx.

Applicants are encouraged to apply online using www.grants.gov .

APPLICATION DUE DATE: May 18, 2012. Applications must be received by the due date and time to be considered for review. Please review carefully Section IV-3 of the application announcement for submission requirements.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Applicants with questions about program issues should contact Elizabeth Sweet at (240) 276-1925 or elizabeth.sweet@samhsa.hhs.gov. For questions on grants management issues contact Gwendolyn Simpson at (240) 276-1408 or gwendolyn.simpson@samhsa.hhs.gov

 

Webinar on the Future of CHIP and children's coverage.  On Monday, May 14, from 2:00 - 3:00 pm (EDT), The National Academy for State Health Policy will be holding the first of a two-part webinar series on children's coverage and health reform.  You can register for the webinar at http://nashp.org/nashp-webinars. For more information, contact Hannah Richardson at hrichardson@nashp.org.

 

House Republican budget bill; Medicaid.  You may hear in the news that the House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), will be considering a bill next week that would have serious repercussions for Medicaid and other safety net programs.  This bill is intended to provide an alternative to the automatic cuts in government spending ("sequester") that will take effect next year pursuant to current law enacted when the "Super Committee" failed to come up with a deficit reduction plan.  It is fairly safe to say that the House bill will not be able to pass the Senate.  Nevertheless, some of the proposals in the bill might be put forward in the post-election lame-duck session of Congress, when it is expected that there will be serious consideration of legislation to replace the sequester with other funding cuts and/or revenue increases in order to avoid deep cuts in defense spending.

One of the proposals likely to arise in the lame-duck session is repeal of the "maintenance of effort" (MOE) provision of the ACA, which prohibits states, with some limited exceptions, from restricting eligibility and enrollment standards, from those in effect as of ACA enactment on March 23, 2010, for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) until 2014 for adults and until 2019 for children in Medicaid and CHIP.  A new Kaiser Family Foundation fact sheet (2 pp.) on the MOE requirement, and the impact of its repeal, can be found at http://www.kff.org/medicaid/upload/8204-02.pdf

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As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions. 

Brooke Lehmann, MSW, Esq.
202-333-2770
blehmann@familyvoices.org

Janis Guerney, Esq.
202-546-0558
jguerney@familyvoices.org

NOTE:  Past issues of the Washington update can be found on the Family Voices home page by scrolling down in the "News Feed" section.

Cosponsors of House F2F funding bill, H.R. 4083, sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ):

Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 2/17/2012
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 2/17/2012
Rep Pingree, Chellie [ME-1] - 2/17/2012
Rep Cicilline, David N. [RI-1] - 2/17/2012
Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] - 2/17/2012
Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 2/17/2012
Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] - 3/5/2012
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 3/8/2012
Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-34] - 3/20/2012
Rep Carson, Andre [IN-7] - 4/26/2012

Cosponsors of Senate F2F funding bill, S. 2123, sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez:

Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 2/17/2012
Sen Conrad, Kent [ND] - 2/17/2012
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 2/17/2012
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 2/17/2012
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 2/17/2012
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 3/13/2012

Contacting your Members of Congress about F2F funding bills

All of you who are concerned about the future of F2Fs should contact your Members of Congress to urge that they cosponsor the Menendez or Pallone bill. You can call them through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.  (To find the names of your Members of Congress, go to http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/index.htm.)  When you speak to the receptionist, state that you are a constituent and ask to speak to the staff person who handles health issues.  If that person is not available to talk, you can leave a BRIEF message identifying yourself as a constituent who has a child with special health care needs (if applicable) and asking that the Representative/Senator cosponsor a bill that would extend funding for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers.  Refer to the appropriate bill number and sponsor - in the Senate, S. 2123, sponsored by Senator Menendez; in the House, H.R. 4083, sponsored by Rep. Pallone.  Leave your phone number and email address. (Remember to use your personal contact information, not that of your F2F.)

You can also write to your Representative (even if you call) via the "Advocacy" section of the Family Voices website, where you will find a pre-written letter that you fill in with your personal information.  (You do not need to know the name of your Representative.)  Please ask families you have worked with, friends, and relatives to write their Representatives through the Family Voices website also.  The URL is http://www.familyvoices.org/action/advocate.   At this time, the website is not configured to automatically send the letter to Senators, but simple instructions about how to contact your Senators, and text to copy and paste, can also be found on that page.  (You do not need to know the names of your Senators.)

Remember:  Federal resources may not be used for lobbying activities.

Please feel free to call Brooke or Janis (contact information above) if you have any questions.