Affordable Care Act with Marge Petty

The Gene And Dave Show Summary

Affordable Care Act (ACA) with Marge Petty

Gene and Dave interviewed Marge Petty about the Affordable Care Act.  Marge wanted our viewers to know about the ACA’s section on pre-existing condition insurance plan (PCIP). Reforms under the Affordable Care Act have brought an end to some of the worst abuses of the insurance industry. These reforms have given Americans new rights and benefits, by helping more children get health coverage, ending lifetime and most annual limits on care, allowing young adults under 26 to stay on their parent’s health insurance, and giving patients access to recommended preventive services without cost.


Our guests:

Marge Petty serves as the Regional Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, Region VI.  As Regional Director, Ms. Petty serves as HHS Secretary Sebelius’ representative responsible for guiding and coordinating HHS policies.  Ms. Petty facilitates communication regarding HHS initiatives as they relate to state, local, and tribal governments.  Petty’s region includes the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as 68 Federally-recognized tribes.


Dennis Borel, Executive Director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, was our guest interviewer.


Guest editorial by Bruce Darling, Executive Director, Center for Disability Rights.  Ph 585-370-6690  See ADAPT Release, in this section.  This editorial, or press release, seems to offer information which calls into question the real motivation behind the ACA.  Gene and Dave sent an email to Marge’s office to ask for their reaction to this paper, but we have yet to hear a response.

ADAPT Release


Contact: Bruce Darling, 585-370-6690 Exec Dir. Center for Disability Rights – Dawn Russell, 303-884-1471

Disability Rights Group Outraged and Demands to Meet with Secretary Sebelius after CMS Issues Guidance on Cutting Home and Community Based Services ADAPT, a national grassroots disability rights organization, is outraged by a Dear State Medicaid Director letter issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday, August 5th. That letter explained how states can cut Medicaid home and community based services, which provide alternatives to institutionalization, and not run afoul of the maintenance of effort requirement in the Affordable Care Act.

The organization is particularly upset because Secretary Sebelius spoke before national disability rights groups in July, highlighting how the Affordable Care Act benefits people with disabilities, including the potential to improve access to home and community based services. While the Secretary gave rousing speeches and was applauded by our community, her staff were crafting guidance to states on cutting our services, said Rahnee Patrick, an ADAPT Organizer from Chicago, IL. This is reprehensible.

The national advocacy group has other concerns about the federal agency. Although the United States Department of Justice has taken action to assure that Americans with Disabilities are not forced into institutions as mandated in the Supreme Courts Olmstead decision, the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has done little to address Olmstead concerns identified in the states. Though talking tough about the need for states to comply with the Olmstead decision, CMS has not developed any accountability criteria to monitor states to assess if states are really complying with the decision” said Bruce Darling, an ADAPT Organizer from Rochester, NY.

Additionally, the group is frustrated by inconsistency within the federal agency. The guidance issued Friday was developed in response to concerns by states which face increasing costs as Medicaid enrollment increases because more Americans are eligible for the program due to lost income and expansions mandated in the Affordable Care Act. This same federal agency misinterpreted statutory language establishing the Community First Choice Option and developed proposed rules that would require states to provide more expansive services beyond what the statutory language would require. Ultimately that means fewer states would select the option and fewer Americans will have the opportunity to live in freedom, said Ms. Patrick. The fact that the federal agency took this action despite being told directly by the provisions sponsors that this was not Congresss intent is particularly upsetting to advocates.

The only thing these policy directions have in common is that they negatively impact Americans with disabilities and older Americans who want to stay in their own homes, said Darling who indicated that ADAPT is seeking to meet with the Secretary. We intend to take our concerns directly to the Secretary, one way or another.

For more information about ADAPT, please visit

ADAPT is also on Twitter at


Learn more about the Affordable Care Act at


Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan


The Texas Consumer Health Assistance Program (Texas CHAP)

(1-855-839-2427) toll-free


HHS has speakers available to come to your group or can arrange a webinar to explain the ACA.



Dennis Borel

Coalition of Texans with Disabilities

316 W. 12th Street, Ste. 405

Austin, TX 78701

Ph (512) 478-3366


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