Government Relations

The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) has primary responsibility to develop and coordinate RESNA's position on public policy and related activities. The committee plans for, coordinates, and recommends implementation strategies for RESNA's positions on public policy, pertinent regulations, and related activities. 

RESNA is a professional organization made up of volunteers. If you have an interest in participating or working with the government affairs committee please contact the GAC Chair.

Chair: Rita Stanley

Updates

Current Priorities 

  • The IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217): The bill excludes ultralight manual wheelchairs and associated accessories from Medicare's competitive acquisition program (in which rates are set through a competitive bidding program rather than by an established fee schedule). Find the full summary here.

Archives

Please see the archive of updates and priorities


Partner organizations

Help Protect Access to Complex Rehab Technology: Find Access2CRT's informationn on providing CRT and how to reach your representative by phone of email.

Protecting Complex Manual Wheelchairs: Find Access2CRT's information (summary/details, position papers, and letters of support) on protecting complex wheelchairs and how to reach your respresentative by phone or email.

NCART Federal Issues: Find information on high priority items and how to reach your federal representative by phone or email.

NCART State Issues: Find information on high priority items and how to reach your state representative by phone or email.


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

This is an international treaty that outlines the obligations of ratifying countries to promote, protect, fulfill and ensure the rights of people with disabilities. President Obama signed the treaty on July 30, 2009, but it requires U.S. Senate ratification. A vote was held on December 4, 2012, but fell five votes short of the necessary 66 (2/3rds of the Senate) required. RESNA released a statement from President Alex Mihailidis, calling the vote "a profound disappointment." Cilck here to read the statement.

Supporters had high hopes for passage during the next Congressional session. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee did hold hearings during November 2014, but it was not brought to a vote. As 2014 ended, so did the chance for ratification.  As of March 2015, the treaty has been ratified by 141 countries. As a result of the midterm elections, it looks like Senate ratification will be on hold indefinitely. 

The U.S. International Council on Disabilities is leading the advocacy campaign supporting the treaty. RESNA continues to work in coalition with this organization and supports ratification. Visit the campaign website to find out how you can help. 

Comments and Support Letters

Comment Letter on Proposed/Draft Local Coverage Determination on Lower Limb Prostheses (DL33787): RESNA joined members of the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition in September 2015 to urge that the LCD be rescinded immediately, citing its immediate negative impact on Medicare beneficiaries with limb amputations. View letter.

Comments to House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education: RESNA signed on to comments submitted in March 2015 by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), urging members to include $38 million in the FY 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations (LHHS) bill for the Assistive Technology (AT) Act Programs. View letter.

Comments on National Coverage Determination (NCD) 50.1: Speech Generating Devices (SGD): RESNA signed on to comments submitted in December 2014 by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in response to a public comment period by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). View letter

Comment Letter on proposed CMS Capped Rental Rule: The Government Affairs Committee recently submitted comments to CMS on a proposed rule that would designate certain complex rehab technologies, including speech-generating devices and power wheelchairs, as capped rentals. Click here to read the letter.

Comment Letter on Social Security Administration (SSA) Rulemaking on Terminology: RESNA signed on to comments submitted in March 2013 by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA now proposes to replace the term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" wherever it appears in the medical listings and in SSA's other rules. In the comments, CCD noted that the "change in terminology is consistent with the widely expressed desire of people with intellectual disability for the use of modern, respectful, language." Click here to read the letter.

RESNA Letter to the Center for Consumer Information & Oversight, CMS: RESNA provided direct comments on the coverage of rehabilitation, habilitation, and devices in all "Essential Health Benefits" plans under health care reform. Click here to read the letter.

Open Letter to States: Technical Assistance for Rehabilitative & Habilitative Services and Devices: The Affordable Care Act (i.e. health care reform) requires the establishment of "Essential Health Benefits." This letter provides technical assistance for states regarding the provision of rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices. RESNA is a member of the Health Task Force of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and provided comments, as well as signing on in support. 

Click here for the Open Letter to States. 

Comment Letter on Essential Health Benefits from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD):  The Affordable Care Act (ACA; i.e., health care reform) requires the U.S. federal government to establish “Essential Health Benefits” under the law. This letter comments on concerns to allow states to develop and choose “benchmark” benefit plans rather than having the federal government develop regulations, provide oversight, and enforce requirements.

Click here for CCD letter

Comment Letter on Essential Health Benefits from the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA):  This comment letter advocates for the importance of including hearing aids as a benefit in the  “Essential Health Benefits” as required under the U.S.  Affordable Care Act (ACA).  RESNA supports hearing health care as a part of the ACA, and that people with hearing loss have access to hearing health care services and hearing aids.

Click here for HLAA letter

Comment letter on the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program's (OFCCP) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on compliance with Section 503 of the Rehab Act:  RESNA signed on in support to this Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities letter supporting the U.S. Department of Labor announcement of historic proposed changes to the regulations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which would improve employment of people with disabilities in the federal contractor sector.  

Click here for CCD Section 503 letter

The IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) 

The bill excludes ultralight manual wheelchairs and associated accessories from Medicare's competitive acquisition program (in which rates are set through a competitive bidding program rather than by an established fee schedule). Find the full summary here.