An Update on the Senate Health Care Bill

As many of you realize, the Senate version of the Health Care bill was released yesterday, June 22.  Unfortunately, this bill also severely cuts Medicaid and health care coverage provisions as in the House bill. The bill includes deep Medicaid cuts and focuses on reducing premiums (Ted Cruz says they are NOT low enough in the Senate bill) but neglects long-term impact on out of pocket and premiums for those who …

Read More…

Governor Charlie Baker Launches Massachusetts ABLE Act

On Wednesday, May 10 Governor Charlie Baker launched the Massachusetts ABLE Act savings program. The ABLE Act allows persons with disabilities to save money without losing benefits such as Medicaid (MassHealth in our state) and SSI. Here are some key points to remember about the savings program: Eligibility requires that the onset of the disability occur prior to age 26 years The maximum to be saved is $14,000 a year …

Read More…

The Arc of MA Releases a House Ways and Means Budget Analysis

Massachusetts State House

The Arc of Massachusetts (The Arc) celebrates the release of the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Budget announced by Chair Brian Dempsey.  Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc, stated “Chair Dempsey and the House Ways/Means Committee members not only recognized the rising number of students requiring public support as adults, but ensure that all young adults who need DDS funding will receive it   –it’s a landmark decision.” Turning 22 …

Read More…

Making Dental Care Available in Massachusetts

On February 15, Laura Krantz’s story in The Boston Globe reported the “high-stakes battle over better access and higher quality oral care for the poor.” In that article, our own Maura Sullivan talked about driving three towns away to find a dentist who would work with her children. In fact, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) provides funding to Tufts Dental Clinic to ensure that dentists are available. Thousands of …

Read More…

In The News

Massachusetts State House

At the end of January, Governor Charlie Baker released the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal. The proposed budget boosts funding for Turning 22. Check out the articles below to see how the changes affect individuals with disabilities and their families.   Baker boosts funding for young disabled adults Feb. 5, 2017   Our view: Gov. Baker gives big boost to those helping disabled Feb. 13, 2017   Self-advocates and people …

Read More…

Landmark Decision Made

The decision by Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary Marylou Sudders to right-size the Department of Developmental Services’ Turning 22 budget is a major policy change. The Arc has been advocating for it since the 2009 recession.  The Turning 22 program funds people who have an intellectual or other disability and require adult services.  Without this funding, persons and families often face tough choices: a parent may have to leave his/her …

Read More…

United Arc families share stories with area legislators

Late last year, twelve Franklin County families met at The United Arc Family Center in Turners Falls with then State Senator-Elect Adam Hinds (Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District), Jessie Cooley, aide to Rep. Paul Mark (Second Berkshire District), and Paul Dunphy, Director of Constituent Services for Rep. Stephen Kulik (First Franklin District). This meeting was a result of a newly formed Parent/Caregiver group started by United Arc’s Family Support …

Read More…