Hill Watch: Final FY 2017 Funding and the American Health Care Act

Hill Watch: Final FY 2017 Funding and the American Health Care Act
House passes American Health Care Act; Congress passes FY 2017 appropriations bill
When NCHV sent you an update on the appropriations process last week, the deal for FY 2017 looked like it was on the fast track to passage, but had yet to clear all of its hurdles. Now we can share that both chambers of Congress have in fact passed the legislation (H.R. 244) as we described it, and the President signed the bill on Friday, May 5, 2017.
H.R. 244 provides funding for the remaining portion of FY 2017 for the entirety of the federal government. This bill covers most of the federal government’s funding obligations, but not all. As we have discussed in Hill Watch before, Congress has already agreed on the funding levels for the operations of VA in FY 2017. This earlier agreement covered many of the programs that we consider to be the pillar programs of the federal response to veteran homelessness.
Also last week, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA - H.R. 1628) by a narrow margin. This was the first hurdle for this package of reforms as it moves through its own process.
The bill would make several changes to the legislation known alternatively as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. Current analysis indicates that the bill would not alter any existing policies relating to healthcare eligibility through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, as we all know, not every homeless veteran who presents for care is enrolled, eligible, or willing to utilize healthcare services through VA. For these veterans, there are worrying developments.
Most strikingly, the bill would curtail the number of states offering the “expanded” Medicaid package made available under Obamacare. Apart from being deployed in innovative ways (such as being utilized as a funder for supportive housing services) this Medicaid expansion has been shown to reduce the number of uninsured veterans by dramatic amounts. Just recently, the Urban Institute found that uninsurance rates for veterans were 4.8% in states that expanded Medicaid, compared to 7.1% in states that did not. Furthermore, they found that the uninsurance rate among veterans had fallen by 40% since the ACA had come into effect. The changes in law proposed in the AHCA would reverse these trends, and cause these rates to rise again.
Fortunately for these veterans and the programs that serve them, the bill in its entirety (and these Medicaid provisions in particular) are unpopular in both parties of the Senate. As this bill will need to pass the Senate in the same form as the House for enactment into law, it is unlikely that the current form of the bill will be the same as the final form. The current sense of the Senate is that they will write their own bill, which may be unpalatable to the majority coalition in the House.
NCHV will keep you updated as the AHCA progresses through the remaining stages. Please email Joshua Stewart, NCHV's Director of Policy, if you have testimonials you would like to share about the importance of Medicaid expansion in your work or in the lives of homeless and/or at-risk veterans. You can reach him via email at jstewart@nchv.org

HTF Monthly Report as of 4/30/17 Now Posted

HTF Message Graphic
HUD is now posting the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Deadline Compliance Status Reports. These monthly reports assist grantees and HUD Field Offices in monitoring compliance with the 2-year commitment requirement of the HTF statute and the 5-year expenditure requirement of the HTF regulations. The current report is now posted on the HUD Exchange at the link below. You may also access it from the Housing Trust Fund Page under "HTF Program Reports."
HTF Program Monthly Report as of 4/30/17 Now Available:
Visit the HUD Exchange at https://www.hudexchange.info

RE: MARHMIS question - survivors of DV and Coord Assessment

We use VI-SPDAT in HMIS to assess clients for the coordinated assessment prioritization.  Our DV agency uses the same form but on paper.  They submit their clients using only a code (never a name) with their score and the agency identifier.  Then, when a DV client is at the top of the list, the offering agency can contact our DV agency and they (and they alone) can approach the client and get any additional info or forms.  All work from that point on is done  out of the public eye.

Su Nottingham
Bergen County Department of Human Services, One Bergen County Plaza, 2nd floor, Hackensack, NJ 07601
Phone 201-336-7461  Fax 201-336-7450  e-mail snottingham@co.bergen.nj.us
Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail, including any attachments, may be intended solely for the personal and confidentiality use of the sender and recipient (s) named above.  This message may include advisory, consultant and/or deliberate material and, as such, would be privileged and confidential; not a public document.  Any information in this e-mail identifying a client of the Department of Human Services is confidential and not a public document.  If you have received this e-mail in error, you must not: review, transmit, convert to hard copy, copy, use or disseminate this e-mail or any attachments to it and you must delete this message.  You are requested to notify the sender by return e-mail.

From: 'Peters-Ruvolo, Annette' via MARHMIS [mailto:marhmis@googlegroups.com]
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2017 8:57 AM
To: marhmis@googlegroups.com
Subject: [MARHMIS] RE: MARHMIS question - survivors of DV and Coord Assessment

Hi Korrin,
I was wondering if you could send this out to the MARHMIS group on my behalf. I'm the Co-Chair of the Westchester County CoC – most members of MARHMIS will know Daniel Gore, our HMIS Administrator. My question is: we are putting the final touches on our Coordinated Assessment System and are struggling with how and where to fit survivors of domestic violence being sheltered by our VAWA providers to make sure they are being prioritized fairly. We have 1 CoC project that contains RRH funds that we are carving out for this population.

We have a workgroup exploring different options and of course, we would be interested to hear from other CoCs as to how the intersect works when a population cannot be in the same HMIS as other people experiencing homelessness. We are currently looking at developing a parallel process that links this population to this particular project, but we feel that limits them ONLY to that project and, if they are not appropriate/eligible for that project, how to refer them to the "general pop" Coordinated Assessment while keeping their prioritization status as survivors w/o identifying them.

Any HUD guidance that anyone feels is particularly helpful would be greatly appreciated as well..
Thank you and have a great day.
Annette M. Peters-Ruvolo, LCSW
Program Director, Community Support Services
Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health
112 East Post Road, 2nd Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
914-995-6220 (fax)

CAN Zumba Health Workshop 5/17, 2pm (Baltimore County, MD)

CAN Healthy Eating Workshop 5/22, 11am (Baltimore County, MD)