Health and Human Services
June 26, 2000
The Health and Human Services Committee met on Saturday June 10 and, in addition to considering regular committee business including adoption of resolutions, welcomed guest presenter, Andrew Hyman, Director, Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) who discussed the several new initiatives at the HHS including the administrations family care proposal and simplification of federal grant programs.
The Family Care proposal would provide higher federal matching payments for state coverage of parents of children eligible for Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Under this program, parents would be covered in the same health insurance plan as their children. The proposal allocates $50 billion over 10 years in SCHIP allotments effectively reaching four million new adults and children over the next 10 years.
Mr. Hyman also alerted Mayors to proposed changes in the federal grant application process. On November 20, 1999, the President signed into law the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act (Public Law 106-107) whose purposes are to improve the delivery of services to the public and the effectiveness and performance of Federal grant programs. He informed Mayors that federal agencies are working with the Office of Management and Budget to: develop uniform administrative rules and common application and reporting systems; replace paper with electronic processing in administration of grant programs; and identify statutory impediments to grant program simplification. Mayors are encouraged to send in their comments via email to: PL106107@os.dhhs.gov.
The Health and Human Services Committee considered and approved a total of 12 resolutions. Four resolutions were joint resolutions with primary jurisdiction in other committees. These resolutions, which were also approved in the Business Session of the Conference, thus becoming Conference policy, are:
Resolution #32: Reauthorization of Ryan White Care Act resolves that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to work swiftly to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act; and that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges that Congress, in reauthorizing the Act, modify it to give cities and their communities the proper tools to address new challenges confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic while maintaining the Act’s successful structure, strong local control, and a continuity of care so that life-saving health services are not interrupted.
Resolution #33: Aids in Africa and Around the World resolves that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the legislation known as H.R. 4140 and urges its swift passage by the U. S. Congress and swift appropriation of U.S. funds to put the program in place, and notifies all members of the House and Senate via this resolution of its strong support, and that the member mayors of the U.S. Conference of Mayors agree to participate to the fullest extent possible in the city-to-city exchange programs that result from implementation of this legislation.
Resolution #34: Time Off for Cancer Screening resolves that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the Administration to encourage that all Federal employees undergo pre-cancer screening; and that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the Administration to make available up to four hours of paid time per year to each federal employee for the purpose of undergoing pre-cancer screening.
Resolution #35: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) Reauthorization resolves that The U. S. Conference of Mayors urges the federal government to conduct a national study on the impact of welfare reform on families, children, and cities as a part of TANF reauthorization; that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress and the Administration to invest in addressing the skills gap by providing direct funding to cities as part of TANF reauthorization; and that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon the nations’ governors to invest in vitally needed services including effective education, training, and placement programs to enable parents to compete for jobs with adequate pay and benefits; wage subsidies, either provided to employers or directly to parents, so low-skilled workers can better support their children; child care; transportation; and housing and rent subsidies in areas where the existing supply of subsidized housing is inadequate.
Resolution #36: Support of Long-Term Care Assistance Plan resolves that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the President’s proposed $3,000 tax credit for people with long-term care needs or their care givers, which would increase the nation’s total investment in long-term care to $28 billion over 10 years; and that The U.S. Conference of Mayors also supports legislation to provide funding for services supporting family care givers of persons with disabilities, improve equity in Medicaid eligibility for people in home and community-based settings; encourage partnerships between low-income housing and Medicaid; and encourage the purchase of quality private long-term care insurance by Federal employees.
Resolution #37: Use of Revenues Generated by Tobacco Settlement for Youth Smoking Prevention that The U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages states to set aside a meaningful portion of their tobacco settlement funds to design and implement comprehensive statewide youth smoking prevention programs including mass media campaigns, school-based tobacco use prevention programs, community-based programs that promote positive youth development and enhanced access prevention and enforcement efforts.
Resolution #38: Removal of Legal Barriers to Access to Sterile Syringes by Injection Drug Users that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages states and localities to explore the removal of legal barriers to obtaining sterile syringes without a prescription; and that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages state and local officials to explore strategies to ensure that syringes acquired through pharmacies are disposed of in a safe manner.
Resolution #39: Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act of 1999 (MiCASSA) that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly supports the independence and empowerment of persons with disabilities by promoting programs that enable them to live in their communities rather than costly institutions; and that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to enact S. 1935, the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act of 1999.