Core Principles for Housing and Health Care Policy: A Statement from the Technical Assistance Collaborative
As 2017 begins, President-elect Donald Trump and the majority party in Congress are promising a "change" agenda. Their public statements have raised many questions about how potential changes to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, affordable housing, and other safety net programs may affect the people who currently depend on them.
For 25 years, TAC has helped public and private partners draw on evidence-based strategies to ensure that low-income, vulnerable individuals and families have every opportunity to be healthy and successful members of their communities. In this moment of impending change, our commitment to that work is stronger than ever.
TAC's Board of Directors met on December 8, 2016, to discuss the ways our organization can help ensure that leaders make informed decisions about any proposed changes to health care and insurance, affordable housing, social and economic policies, or other programs that form our country's safety net. Committed to the prudent use of taxpayer funds, TAC strongly believes in four core principles that should guide policymakers in establishing policy, developing budgets, and modifying programs.
TAC is committed to ensuring that public policymakers are held accountable to these principles:
All individuals must have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance and health care. Program coverage and access to comprehensive medical and behavioral health services, long-term supports, and needed medications should not be compromised under the guise of increased "flexibility," greater efficiency, or better programs.
All individuals must have access to safe, decent, and truly affordable housing. Our country faces an affordable housing crisis, with millions of people forced to pay well over 30 percent of their income for rent. As TAC's Priced Out reports have shown, extremely low-income adults — including those with disabilities who rely on Supplemental Security Income — are unable to afford even the most modest independent housing anywhere in the United States.
All individuals with disabilities have the civil right to live in integrated, community-based settings with the same access to community resources as those who do not have a disability or special need. The U.S. Department of Justice and others must protect this right through policy, regulation, and — if necessary — enforcement actions.
All individuals who are able to work must have access to employment opportunities that pay a living wage. Many people with disabilities wish to work but need support or cannot find jobs that provide an adequate salary.
TAC strongly believes that these common principles share bipartisan support, and our technical assistance and consultation are provided without regard to political affiliation. We implore our policymakers and elected leaders to support policies, programs, and budgets that will improve the health and well-being of all individuals and families, as we continue to offer strategic planning and subject matter expertise to assist clients and potential partners in achieving our shared goals.
Kevin Martone, Executive Director, Technical Assistance Collaborative
Sheila Crowley, Chair, Technical Assistance Collaborative Board of Directors