Reimburse employer health plans for a portion of catastrophic costs
"Reimburse employer health plans for a portion of the catastrophic costs they incur above a threshold if they guarantee such savings are used to reduce the cost of workers' premiums."
Fully fund the Combating Autism Act and Federal Autism Research Initiatives
"President Obama will fully fund the Combating Autism Act, which provides nearly $1 billion in autism-related funding over 5 years, and work with Congress, parents and ASD experts to determine how to further improve federal and state programs."
Provide $50 billion by 2013 for the global fight against HIV/AIDS
"Pledged to provide at least $50 billion by 2013 for the global fight against HIV/AIDS, including our fair share of the Global Fund, in order to at least double the number of HIV-positive people on treatment and continue to provide treatments to one-third of all those who desperately need them. This funding will allow the U.S. to meet its commitments that have been flat-funded by the Bush Administration, which includes expanding existing programs to help the millions of children orphaned and made vulnerable by AIDS, increasing the number of health care workers by at least one million, preventing violence against women and girls, and improving health care systems so that U.S. assistance can be fully and effectively utilized."
Invest $10 billion per year in early intervention educational and developmental programs
"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will invest $10 billion per year in early intervention educational and developmental programs for children between zero and five. Their plan will help expand Early Head Start to serve more children with disabilities, and will spur states, through programs like Early Learning Challenge Grants, to expand programs for children with disabilities, such as IDEA Part C, and integrate these programs with other early childhood programs."
Set a national goal to provide re-screening for all 2-year-olds for developmental disorders
As part of support for universal infant screening, "support setting a national goal to provide re-screening for all two-year-olds – the age at which some conditions, including autism spectrum disorders, begin to appear. Part of Obama's early childhood intervention plan will be directed at coordinating fragmented community programs to help provide parents with information about screening for disabilities as infants and again as two-year olds."
Streamline the Social Security disability approval process
"The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been consistently under-funded, resulting in unconscionable delays in initial claims determinations and hearings for individuals applying for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Supplement Security Income (SSI) programs. ... Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to streamlining the current application and appeals procedures to reduce the confusion that surrounds these important programs. As president, Obama will also ensure that the SSA has the funding it needs to hire judges and staff and to invest in technology to expedite final decisions."
Establish standards of care for traumatic brain injury treatment
"Establish standards of care for TBI (traumatic brain injury) treatment, require pre- and post-deployment screenings and improve case management so that service members get the best possible care."
Allow all veterans back into the Veterans Administration
As one of his "first acts" as president, Obama will sign an executive order "ending the unfair ban on healthcare enrollment of certain groups of veterans, including 'Priority 8' veterans who often earn modest incomes." Currently, veterans who have no service-connected disability and make above a certain amount of income are not allowed to enroll in the VA health program.
Institute electronic record-keeping for the Veterans Benefits Administration
"As president, Obama will transform the paper benefit claims process to an electronic system that will be interoperable with the VA's health network as well as military records. This will reduce error rates, improve timeliness, and enhance the overall quality of the claims decisions."
Issue a "best practices" report for states on reducing domestic violence
"His administration will also issue a joint report on 'best practices' across agencies and disseminate that information to the states."
Create a fund for international small and medium enterprises (SME)
"Building on the growing evidence that micro finance works, an Obama administration will provide initial capital for an SME Fund. Administered through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an independent U.S. government agency, the government will provide seed capital matched by a larger portion from the private sector. The SME Fund will be designed to provide seed capital and technical assistance to catalyze the establishment of job-creating small and medium enterprises, and to build the capacity of entrepreneurs to translate their ideas into viable businesses, including through the creation of regional 'SME Universities' supported by America's business schools."
Launch robust diplomatic effort with Iraq and its neighbors
"Launch an aggressive diplomatic effort to reach a comprehensive compact on the stability of Iraq and the region. ... include all of Iraq's neighbors -- including Iran and Syria, as suggested by the bi-partisan The Iraq Study Group Report."
Create a specialized military advisers corps
"Create a specialized military advisers corps, which will enable us to better build up local allies' capacities to take on mutual threats."
Limit Guard and Reserve deployments to one year for every six years
Restore the Deployment Policies Under Which the Reserve and Guard Enlisted: America should recommit to the broken promises made to the men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserves. An Obama administration will: • Limit lengthy deployments to one year for every six years • Restore the 24-month limit on cumulative deployment time • End the "Stop-Loss" program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments.
Ensure the Guard and Reserves can meet their homeland security missions
"The poor readiness of America's Guard and Reserve forces threatens our ability to respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks at home. We saw this, sadly, after both Hurricane Katrina and the tornadoes in Kansas. Because of the depletion of its resources in Iraq, the National Guard is less ready today than it was on 9/11. Nearly 90 percent of units have serious equipment shortages; many have less than 1/3 of the equipment they require. A particular focus of Obama's plan will be to reverse the trend of "cross-leveling," the cannibalizing of soldiers and machines from units back home for missions abroad."
Seek code of conduct for space-faring nations
"Restore U.S. leadership on space issues by seeking code of conduct for space-faring nations, including a worldwide ban on weapons to interfere with satellites and a ban on testing anti-satellite weapons. Initiating and stating a willingness to participate in a regime protecting access to space will help the United States return to a position of leadership in promoting global stability."
Create a Civilian Assistance Corps that would organize private sector professionals to help in times of need
"There is presently no mechanism for civilians with special skill-sets (be they doctors, lawyers, engineers, city planners, agriculture specialists, police, etc.) and a sense of service, to be trained and organized to help their nation when it needs them. The Civilian Assistance Corps (modeled after similar auxiliary groups in Virginia and California) would provide each federal agency a pool of volunteer experts willing to deploy in crises. They would be pre-trained and screened for deployment to supplement departments' expeditionary teams. The creation of such a corps would ensure that true experts carry out tasks such as restoring electricity or creating banking systems, rather than the current practice of expecting already over-burdened soldiers to assume these roles."
Review weapons programs
"Programs: Each major defense program will be reevaluated in light of current needs, gaps in the field, and likely future threat scenarios in the post 9-11 world. We must rebalance our capabilities to ensure that our forces can succeed in both conventional war-fighting and in stabilization and counter-insurgency operations."
Modernize ships and invest more in small vessels
"To maintain the size of the fleet at an affordable cost, Obama will modernize the many capable ships that we now have and tilt the investment balance towards more capable, smaller combatants, while maintaining the Navy's ability to command the seas. He will support sea basing ships capable of supporting humanitarian missions as well as combat mission. He will increase investment in riverine craft and small coastal patrol craft, and ensure the maximum interoperability between the Navy and the Coast Guard. "
Establish transparency standards for military contractors
"Establish transparency standards for military contractors. … Create the reporting requirements, accounting, and accountability needed for good governance and actual money savings with contracting."
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