Dear Families and Friends of CMA,
I received some very disturbing news today and I would appreciate your assistance in lobbying our legislators to avoid another painful cut to services for people with intellectual disabilities.
On February 5, 2013, the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a report entitled, “Billions of Federal Tax Dollars Wasted Annually by New York’s Medicaid Program”. The report listed several examples of practices which have occurred over the past twenty years including over-billing at state operated institutions (well in excess of costs), abuses of Medicaid eligibility rules in the Personal Care Services Program for the elderly, excessive executive compensation at one non-profit, and affluent individuals artificially impoverishing themselves in order to qualify for Medicaid.
At this time, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is looking for NYS to repay $500 million from the state budget which commences April 1, 2013. Governor Cuomo proposed amendments to his budget yesterday which would cut 6% across the board from all voluntary providers of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are no cuts proposed from other Medicaid providers who had actually benefited from the excess funds that were brought in by the institutions. This is not fair and needs to be revised.
On Friday, March 1st, several provider associations across New York State have organized a Joint Family Advocacy Day, where families, self advocates, and agency staff can go to visit their legislators in their home offices. There will be a large organizational meeting led by Seth Stein of the Alliance of Long Island Agencies, Inc. at 10:00 am at the Holiday Inn, 369 Old Country Road, Carle Place, NY. Appointments with legislators or their staff will set up between 1 and 3 pm.
If you can participate in this event, please call me or Karen Puritano tomorrow at 516-683-0710. If you cannot attend, we would greatly appreciate it if you would write to the governor and your local and federal legislators expressing your concern. We will be providing you with additional information as we receive it in the next two weeks and we really appreciate your support for our people and the services they receive.