FACT CHECK: In New Ad, Burr Hides His Real Record On Disabilities From North Carolina Voters

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
CONTACT: Matt Kravitz, 919.438.1836
or mkravitz@ncdp.org

FACT CHECK: In New Ad, Burr Hides His Real Record On Disabilities From North Carolina Voters

 

RALEIGH, NC – Today, Senator Richard Burr released a new ad aimed at distracting voters from his real record of putting spending cuts and partisanship ahead of North Carolinians with disabilities. A much-needed correction of Burr’s record is below.

“Like a typical Washington politician, Richard Burr is once again running ads that hide his real record,” said Matt Kravitz, Press Secretary for the North Carolina Democratic Party. “The truth is he has voted repeatedly to undermine and underfund efforts to improve education, health, and wellbeing for children and workers with special needs. North Carolina voters can see through the spin, and they know it’s time for a change.” 

 

FACT CHECK: RICHARD BURR HAS VOTED REPEATEDLY TO UNDERMINE & UNDERFUND SUPPORTS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

RICHARD BURR HAS VOTED FOR BUDGETS THAT WOULD HAVE MADE DEEP CUTS TO SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING

BURR VOTED FOR THE FY 2013 RYAN BUDGET, WHICH WOULD HAVE CUT SPECIAL EDUCATION GRANT FUNDING FOR NORTH CAROLINA BY $73.1 MILLION, AFFECTING OVER 45,000 SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS

 

2012: Burr Voted For FY 2013 Ryan Budget. [CQ, 5/16/12, H.Con.Res. 112, Vote 98, 5/16/12]

Secretary of Education: FY2013 Ryan Budget Could Cut Education Funding For Children With Disabilities By Over $2.2 Billion, Meaning 30,000 Special Education Teachers, Teachers’ Aides, And Others Could Be Cut. “Secretary of Education Arne Duncan warned lawmakers today of potentially dire ramifications if the budget blueprint put forth earlier this week by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., were to become law…And funding for children with disabilities could be cut by over $2.2 billion, meaning that 30,000 special education teachers, teachers’ aides, and others could be cut. Special education state grants are funded at $11.6 billion this year.” [Education Week, 3/22/12]

Analysis: 2012 Ryan Budget Would Cut Special Education Grant Funding For North Carolina By $18.4 Million In FY2013, Affecting 10,094 Special Needs Students. [Impact of House FY2013 Budget Resolution on Special Education Grants to States, National Education Association, accessed 9/6/16]

Analysis: 2012 Ryan Budget Would Cut Special Education Grant Funding For North Carolina By $64.7 Million In FY2014, Affecting 35,516 Special Needs Students. [Impact of House FY2013 Budget Resolution on Special Education Grants to States, National Education Association, accessed 9/6/16]

 

BURR VOTED FOR THE FY 2014 RYAN BUDGET WHICH THREATENED “DEEP CUTS” TO SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS FUNDED THROUGH IDEA

2013: Burr Voted For FY 2014 Ryan Budget. [CQ, 3/21/13; S.Amdt. 433 to S.Con.Res. 8, Vote 46, 3/21/13]

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: FY2014 Ryan Budget “Threatened With Deep Cuts” Special Education Programs Funded Through The IDEA Program. “If these federal grants are reduced sharply, as they would be under the Ryan budget, states and local governments will be forced to choose between increasing their own spending to protect their schools or allowing their schools to take the financial hit, which could damage the quality of their education systems…Major education programs threatened with deep cuts under the Ryan budget include:…Special education (IDEA).  Funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides federal support to schools to help them educate children with learning disorders, speech impairments, and other disabilities.  Some 6.5 million children nationally received specialized learning assistance through this funding in 2010.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/13]

Ryan Budget Cut Investments In K-12 Education, Including Education For Children With Disabilities. “The Ryan budget cuts per capita investment in education and training by 47 percent, cutting from the 2010 level of $433 per person to a mere $238 per person by 2023. (see Figure 1) This proposal would cut investments from K-12 education nationally, including education for children with disabilities and investments in educational innovation.” [Center for American Progress, 3/13/13]

 

BURR VOTED REPEATEDLY AGAINST EXPANDING SPENDING ON SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

BURR VOTED AGAINST $125 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE IDEA ACT

Burr Voted Against $125 Million In Additional Funding For The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. In March 2013, Burr voted against: “Harkin, D-Iowa, amendment no. 53 to the Mikulski, D-Md., substitute amendment no. 26. The Harkin amendment would add $107 million for Title I funding, for school districts with a large percentage of low-income students and $14 million for TRIO, a program that helps students from disadvantaged communities get into college. It would add $125 million for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and $107 million for child care programs. It would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health by $211 million and provide a $29 million increase for the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program. The amendment would be offset by a 0.127 percent cut to certain programs. The substitute would provide continuing appropriations through fiscal 2013 for government operations, including $1.043 trillion in discretionary funds before sequestration. It would provide $517.7 billion in base discretionary funding for the Defense Department and $71.9 billion for veterans programs and military construction as well as $20.5 billion for agriculture programs, $39.6 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, and $50.2 billion for commerce, law enforcement and science programs. It would fund all other departments and agencies at their fiscal 2012 enacted levels, with adjustments for certain programs.” The amendment was rejected 54-45. [CQ, 3/14/13; S. Amdt. 53 to S. Amdt. 26 to H.R. 933, Vote 36, 3/14/13]

 

BURR VOTED AGAINST BILLIONS IN ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Burr Voted Against An Additional $44.2 Billion In Funding For Special Education Programs. In March 2007, Burr voted against: “Sanders, I-Vt., amendment no. 545 that would raise the discretionary spending limit by $44.2 billion to allow for a funding increase for programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It would be offset by raising the top marginal tax rate over four years to pre-2001 levels on taxable income that exceeded $1 million.” The amendment was rejected 38-58. [CQ, 3/22/07; S. Amdt. 545 to S. Con. Res. 21, Vote 94, 3/22/07]

Burr Voted Against $71.3 Billion for Special Education Funding. In March 2005, Burr voted against: “Dayton, D-Minn., amendment no. 202 that would create a reserve fund that would provide $71.3 billion for special education programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It would be offset by a $73.8 billion cut in the five-year tax cut reconciliation instruction figure. It also would reduce the deficit by $2.5 billion.” The amendment was rejected 37-63. [CQ, 3/17/05; S. Amdt. 202 to S. Con. Res. 18, Vote 79, 3/17/05]

Burr Voted Against Increasing Grants To States For Special Education Funding by $4 Billion. In October 2005, Burr voted against an amendment: “Clinton, D-N.Y., motion to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Specter, R-Pa., point of order against Clinton amendment no. 2292. The Clinton amendment would provide $4 billion in additional funding for state-administered federal grants for disabled and special education students.” [CQ, 10/26/05; S. Amdt. 2292 to H.R. 3010, Vote 273, 10/26/05]

 

RICHARD BURR PUSHED FOR THE REPEAL OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT…

Richard Burr Boasted That He “Voted 56 Times To Defeat, Dismantle, And Defund Obamacare;” “Did Everything In [His] Power To Stop This Bill From Moving Forward” When It Was In Committee; “Spent Countless Hours On The Senate Floor To Rally Against The Bill;” And “Used Every Procedural Tactic At [His] Disposal To Block Its Passage.” In a press statement, Burr said, “I have voted 56 times to defeat, dismantle, and defund Obamacare. When Obamacare was first brought before the Senate in 2009, my fellow Republicans and I on the HELP Committee did everything in our power to stop this bill from moving forward. After Democrats rammed it through committee on a straight party- line vote, Senator Coburn and I spent countless hours on the Senate floor to rally against the bill and used every pro-cedural tactic at our disposal to block its passage. Unfortunately, the 2008 elections gave Democrats an overwhelming majority in Washington, which they used to force Obamacare into law.” [Office of Sen. Burr, Press Statement, 9/27/13]

 

…WHICH WOULD REMOVE A NUMBER OF HEALTH PROTECTIONS FOR FAMILIES STRUGGLING WITH AUTISM

Autism Speaks: Thanks To The ACA, “You And Your Family Cannot Be Turned Away From Coverage Because Of ASD” And “Insurance Companies Cannot Refuse To Cover Preexisting Conditions, Such As ASD.” [Autism Speaks, accessed 9/23/14]

Under Health Care Reform, Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Will No Longer Be Denied Health Insurance. “Today, insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition, like asthma or diabetes, under the health care law. And beginning in 2014, health insurers will no longer be able to charge more or deny coverage to anyone because of a pre-existing condition.” [HHS, North Carolina, accessed 8/15/13]

There Are As Many As 4 Million Non-Elderly North Carolinians With A Pre-Existing Health Condition. “As many as 4,099,922 non-elderly North Carolinians have some type of pre-existing health condition, including 539,092 children.” [HHS, North Carolina, accessed 8/15/13]

Autism Speaks: Thanks To The ACA “You And Your Family Cannot Be Charged Higher Premiums Because Of ASD.”  [Autism Speaks, accessed 9/23/14]

Autism Speaks: Thanks To The ACA, “Your Child Is Entitled To Screening For ASD At Ages 18 And 24 Months. This screening Is Available Without Cost-Sharing.” [Autism Speaks, accessed 9/23/14]

Health Care Reform Required Most Insurance Plans To Cover Two Free Autism Screenings For Young Children. “All Marketplace health plans and most other private insurance plans must cover preventive services for children without charging a copayment or coinsurance. This includes autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months.” [Health & Human Services, accessed 9/23/14]

Autism Speaks: Thanks To The ACA, “Plans Must Cover Essential Health Benefits, Including Behavioral Health Treatment, Habilitative Services, And Prescription Drugs. This Will Include Applied Behavior Analysis In Some States.” [Autism Speaks, accessed 9/23/14]

Health Care Reform Required Insurance Plans To Cover Ten Categories Of Minimum Benefits, Including Behavioral Health Treatment And Prescription Drugs, Among Others. “One of the most significant changes under the Affordable Care Act is that – beginning on January 1, 2014 – insurers will have to cover at least 10 categories of defined medical benefits, known as ‘essential health benefits.’ […] mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment […] prescription drugs.” [Autism Speaks, accessed 9/23/14]

Autism Speaks: Thanks To The ACA, “You Can Enroll On A Parent’s Plan Until You Turn Age 26. This Is True Even If You Are Not Living With Your Parent, Attending School, Or Not Financially Dependent On Your Parent.” [Autism Speaks, accessed 9/23/14]

Health Care Reform Allowed Young Adults To Remain On Their Parents’ Insurance Up To The Age Of 26. “Young adults can remain covered under their parents’ insurance up to the age of 26.  Already, 3.1 million more young people have been insured through this provision of the new law.  For a young adult with autism or related conditions and their family, that means more flexibility, more options and greater piece of mind.” [Health & Human Services, accessed 9/23/14]

Health Care Reform Prohibited Insurers From Putting A Lifetime Dollar Limit On Most Benefits. “The Affordable Care Act prohibits health plans from putting a lifetime dollar limit on most benefits you receive. The law also does away with annual dollar limits a health plan can place on most of your benefits. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, many plans set a dollar limit on what they would spend for covered benefits during the time individuals were enrolled in the plan, leaving individuals on the autism spectrum and their families to pay the cost of all care exceeding that limit.” [Health & Human Services, accessed 9/23/14]

 

…INCLUDING A PROVISION ALLOWING CONSUMERS TO APPEAL DECISIONS BY INSURERS

Autism Speaks: “One Of The Most Significant Changes” In The ACA “Is That Consumers Have The Right To Appeal Decisions Made By Their Health Insurer To An External, Independent Decision-Maker.” “What if my claim is denied? One of the most significant changes under the Affordable Care Act is that consumers have the right to appeal decisions made by their health insurer to an external, independent decision-maker.” [Autism Speaks, accessed 9/23/14]

 

BURR SAID NORTH CAROLINA LEADERS WERE RIGHT TO DECLINE TO EXPAND MEDICAID…

2014: Burr Said He Supported A North Carolina Law To Refuse Expanding Medicaid Coverage To Hundreds Of Thousands Of Additional State Residents. “U.S. Sen. Richard Burr says North Carolina leaders were right both to decline expanding Medicaid and creating their own online insurance web site through the federal health care overhaul.  Burr made the comments Tuesday before a General Assembly committee looking at the effects of the law on insurance, business and health services. The panel met at UNC-Greensboro. Republicans in the legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory passed a law last year refusing Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of additional residents. Democrats and allies want the expansion. Burr says expansion is not good policy when Medicaid is structurally broken and states have little ability to reform it.” [Associated Press, 4/22/14]

 

…EVEN THOUGH MEDICAID EXPANSION COULD BENEFIT THOSE WITH AUTISM

Refusing To Expand Medicaid “Means That Many Autistic Children From Low-Income Families Still Will Not Receive It.” “While Florida finally must cover the therapy under Medicaid, the state Legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act means that many autistic children from low-income families still will not receive it. (Ohio, by contrast, both accepted expanded Medicaid and will make the therapy available to the newly eligible families with autistic children.)” [Orlando Sentinel, 11/14/13]

Autism Speaks Touted Medicaid Expansion As A “Significant” Feature Of Health Care Reform, Especially In Providing Coverage To Low-Income Adults. “One of the most significant changes under the Affordable Care Act is that – beginning on January 1, 2014 – states can choose whether to expand their Medicaid programs to low-income adults, many of which have never been eligible for coverage before. What do you need to know about Medicaid expansion? Here are a few questions that Autism Speaks has identified. […] Prior to the Affordable Care Act, most states did not offer Medicaid coverage to adults, particularly those without children. The law allowed states to expand Medicaid coverage to most adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. To assist states in expanding coverage, the costs of covering this population will be fully funded by the federal government in most states through 2016. Following a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, states can choose whether to expand Medicaid eligibility to this new population or maintain their traditional eligibility criteria.” [Autism Speaks, accessed 9/23/14]

Association Of Maternal & Child Health Programs: Expanded Medicaid Will Help “Low-Income Youth With ASD/DD As They Transition To Young Adulthood.” “In 2014, Medicaid eligibility will be expanded to anyone whose income is less than 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), including low-income youth with ASD/DD as they transition to young adulthood, regardless of family or disability status. Children in families with income less than 133 percent of FPL who are enrolled in CHIP will switch to Medicaid coverage. In states where CHIP is operated separately from Medicaid, children and youth with ASD/DD who become eligible for Medicaid under this expansion will gain access to coverage under the Medicaid Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit for children. EPSDT is considered by many advocates to be more generous and comprehensive set of benefits than those typically provided by many private health insurance plans.” [Association Of Maternal & Child Health Programs, The Affordable Care Act and Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities May 2012]

Durham Speech Therapist Said That Many Of Her Clients Were Autistic Children, Whose Therapy Sessions Were Covered By Medicaid.  “In the liberal havens of Durham and Chapel Hill, a number of voters said they were eager to support Ms. Hagan as a means of protesting the Republicans’ agenda. ‘It’s terrifying, Nicole Cochran, 33, a speech therapist, said at the Whole Foods supermarket in Durham. ‘There’s a lot of anger. I think there’s disbelief, almost, over how radical it is.’ Ms. Cochran said that many of her clients were autistic children whose therapy sessions were funded by Medicaid, the management of which Republicans plan to overhaul.” [New York Times, 9/23/14]

 

RICHARD BURR VOTED TO ELIMINATE SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS THAT IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE FOR DISABLED AMERICANS OR ALLOWED THEM TO LIVE INDEPENDENTLY

Burr Voted For FY 2012 Ryan Budget Plan. In May 2011, Burr voted for a: “Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the concurrent resolution that would allow $2.859 trillion in new budget authority for fiscal 2012.” The motion was rejected 40-57. [CQ, 5/25/11; H.Con.Res. 34, Vote 77, 5/25/11]

FY2012 Ryan Budget Would Eliminate The Social Services Block Grant. “The U.S. House-approved budget resolution, based on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Path to Prosperity Plan, would eliminate the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), a critical source of child welfare funding. Surveys of state child welfare agencies show that 12 percent of national federal child welfare funding comes from SSBG. States use SSBG to fund programs that keep children safe and allow them to stay in their homes. The program provides more financial support than Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act for child protective services, which can include differential response, designed to prevent children from coming into foster care.” [Alliance for Strong Families and Communities,5/16/11]

  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Elimination Of The Social Services Block Grant Could Lead To Individuals With Disabilities Losing Access To Services That Improved Their Quality Of Life Or Allowed Them To Live Independently Like Mobility Training And Respite Care.“Some individuals living with a disability likely would lose access to services that improve their quality of life and help them remain in the community.  About 12 percent of SSBG funds went to services for disabled individuals in fiscal year 2013 (see Figure 2 and Appendix C); 20 states used SSBG funds for this purpose, and California, Iowa, and Montana used more than half of their funds for it.  SSBG-funded services, which include mobility training for blind or visually impaired individuals and respite care for families caring for a disabled family member, help disabled individuals live as independently as possible.”

HEADLINE: “Eliminating Social Services Block Grant Would Weaken Services for Vulnerable Children, Adults, and Disabled.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/18/16]

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The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is the North Carolina affiliate of the Democratic Party. NCDP works to elect Democratic public officials, encourages North Carolinians to become involved in Democratic politics, and fights for equality, opportunity and prosperity for all North Carolinians.