On July 26, Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced the Healthcare Extension and Accessibility for Developmentally Disabled and Underserved Population (HEADs UP) Act of 2018. This bill would declare people with DD a medically underserved population (MUP).
People with DD face a shortage of primary care providers, as well as higher infant mortality rates, higher poverty rates, and shorter life expectancy than the general population.
The MUP designation comes with increased access to resources from 25 different government programs including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community Health Centers, loan repayment and training programs under Health Resources and Services Administration Workforce Development and Training Programs, and preference in research within agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.
The Arc supports this bill. Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts, noted,
We are happy to see a Congressman from our own state being a leader in addressing health inequities for our constituents. This issue is a priority for us, as demonstrated through Operation House Call and systemic health care advocacy along with our research in 2008 on health disparities. We appreciate Seth Moulton’s leadership.
We also appreciate the recent filing of Disability Employment Incentive Act by Sen. Bob Casey, which if passed, will increase the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for employers.