Economic Recovery

House Passes Economic Recovery Bill

On January 28, 2009, the House of Representatives voted 244-188 to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes a total of $819 billion dollars to assist in stimulating the economy. The final House version of the bill includes $544 billion in new spending and $275 billion in tax relief. Many of the programs that will receive the funding will benefit people with AD/HD and related disorders by maintaining or enhancing current programs and services. The Senate is currently working on its version of the bill. The goal is to finalize a bill in Congress so it can be sent to President Barack Obama to sign into law by mid-February.  

Updated January 30, 2009

How Will Economic Recovery Legislation Affect People with AD/HD?

The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations released the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 on January 15. According to the press release from the committee chairman, Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI), the bill contains numerous tax cuts and investments to “create and save three to four million jobs, jumpstart our economy, and begin the process of transforming it for the twenty-first century.”

Key provisions will impact the lives of individuals with AD/HD and related disorders if this bill becomes law, including:

  • IDEA Special Education: Allocates $13 billion for formula grants to increase the federal share of special education costs and prevent these mandatory costs from forcing states to cut other areas of education.

    School Construction: Allocates $20 billion, including $14 billion for K-12 and $6 billion for higher education, for renovation and modernization, including technology upgrades.

    Health Information Technology: Allocates $20 billion to jumpstart efforts to computerize health records to cut costs and reduce medical errors.

    Healthcare Effectiveness Research: Allocates $1.1 billion for Healthcare Research and Quality programs to compare the effectiveness of different medical treatments funded by Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP (State’s Children Health Insurance Program).

    Training Primary Care Providers: Allocates $600 million to address shortages and prepare for universal healthcare by training primary healthcare providers (including doctors, dentists, and nurses) as well as to help pay medical school expenses for students who agree to practice in underserved communities through the National Health Service Corps.

    Employment Services Grants: Allocates $500 million to match unemployed individuals to job openings through state employment service agencies and allow states to provide customized services.

    Prevention and Wellness Fund: Allocates $3 billion to fight preventable chronic diseases, the leading cause of deaths in the United States, and infectious diseases. Preventing disease rather than treating illnesses is the most effective way to reduce healthcare costs. This includes hospital infection prevention, Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grants for state and local public health departments, immunization programs, and evidence-based disease prevention.

    Medicare and Medicaid Regulations: Extends the moratorium on Medicaid and Medicare regulations through October 1, 2009.

    CHADD is working to have the word “disability” included anywhere in the bill that mentions additional funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some members of Congress are proposing initiatives to assist “chronic illness” initiatives at CDC. CHADD and its many sister national organizations desire that any CDC initiative recognize the CDC NCBDDD (National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities), the agency that funds CHADD’s National Resource Center on AD/HD.

The entire press release can be read here. The Senate has not yet released its economic recovery plan.  It is expected that they will release their version of the bill on January 27. The House of Representatives is expected to finalize the bill, which will be followed by Senate action. Leaders in both chambers have indicated that their goal is to hold a vote prior to the Presidents Day recess. 

Posted January 26, 2009