Events and Membership 

Plenary Session Speakers

Policy Panel: The Changing Landscape of State and Federal Policies Affecting Family Caregivers

ARCH is proud to present this powerhouse panel of national policy experts to present up-to-the minute news on state and federal aging and disability policy and what it will mean for family caregivers.

Currently, Congress is contemplating massive changes to our health care system, drastic restructuring of Medicaid, and substantial cuts to critical safety net programs for the most vulnerable families. At the same time, as the population ages, the need to address financing and availability of long term services and supports, the shortage of direct service workers, and the critical needs of large numbers of family caregivers becomes even more urgent. We will be facing some of our greatest challenges in attempting to overcome these dramatic demographic and policy shifts and get us back on the right course. As advocates, we need to be prepared for frequent and rapid action.

ARCH is proud to present this powerhouse panel of national policy experts to present up-to-the minute news on state and federal aging and disability policy and what it will mean for children and adults with disabilities and chronic illness, older adults and their family caregivers.

Issues to be addressed include Lifespan Respite Reauthorization and funding, Medicaid, health insurance, home and community-based services, direct care workforce issues, caregiver tax credits, state respite and caregiving legislation and more.

Elaine Ryan, AARP, Washington, D.C.

Elaine M. Ryan is the Vice President of State Advocacy and Strategy Integration (SASI) in the Government Affairs Department of AARP. Elaine leads a team of legislative staff who work with our 53 AARP state offices to advance AARP’s state advocacy agenda with Governors and state legislators throughout the nation to enable individuals age 50+ and their families attain and maintain their financial and health security.

Laura Weidner, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Washington, DC

Laura Weidner leads the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's strategy on federal policy impacting the day-to-day lives of people with MS and their families, including policy related to accessing quality healthcare, long-term services and supports (including family caregiving), durable medical equipment, and Social Security disability benefits. She is a co-chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities' (CCD) Long-term Services and Supports Task Force, a member of the CCD Board of Directors, a member of the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Steering Committee, and a board member of Advance CLASS, Inc.

Kim Musheno, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Washington, DC

Kim Musheno is the Director of Public Policy at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities where she works on federal policy and legislative issues that affect people with developmental disabilities and their families. She also provides leadership as Chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of more than 100 national disability organizations. Kim also co-chairs CCD Task Forces working on fiscal policy and Education.

Robert Espinoza, PHI, New York, NY

Robert Espinoza is the Vice President of Policy at PHI, the nation's leading authority on the direct care workforce, where he oversees its national policy, research, and communications activities. He designed PHI's #60CaregiverIssues campaign, which is proposing solutions to the country's growing workforce shortage in home care, and generating online conversation among half a million people.

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