Media Advisory – Consumer Directed Care Advocates Rally Outside Governor Cuomo’s NYC Offices
For Immediate Release
March 6, 2019
Media Contact: Andrew Mangini: 518-598-6324, firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA ADVISORY/ PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Consumer Directed Care Advocates to Rally Outside of Governor Cuomo’s NYC Offices to Demand He Removes Proposal that Makes Devastating Cuts That Would Eliminate Program
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – CDPAANYS representatives and the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York will host a rally outside of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office on March 7. They will push against his proposed cuts to an in-home care program that has become vital to the lives to tens of thousands of senior citizens and disabled New Yorkers.
The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program empowers disabled and senior citizens in New York state to take control over their own care by allowing them to live at home and choose their in-home personal assistants, rather than having an agency randomly assign one.
Anastasia Somoza, a consumer of the program, has been allowed to lead a full, productive life thanks to CDPA. Somoza has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia and was one of the first two people to be authorized through the program, along with her sister, Alba.
Somoza is now in her 30s and works as the disability liaison for the New York City Council. She even spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention where she gave her support to then-candidate Hillary Clinton.
“If it weren’t for the CDPA Program, I would not be where I am today,” Somoza said. “This program is absolutely vital for the thousands of disabled and senior citizens who use it. These proposed changes show just how low of a priority we are in this state.”
Governor Cuomo’s proposed cuts effectively eliminate this program, forcing more than 70,000 consumers of the program to move out of their homes and into care facilities and run the risk of putting more than 100,000 out of work.
Those consumers, along with their personal assistants and other advocates of the program from across the state will come together in front of the Governor’s offices on Third Avenue and protest against these catastrophic cuts to the program.
“These cuts will be disastrous for a state that is already facing a home care crisis,” said Bryan O’Malley, Executive Director of CDPAANYS. “They will force consumers of the program into nursing homes and could cost the jobs of upwards of 100,000 personal assistants who provide care for these individuals. It’s safe to say this could be devastating not just for those involved in CDPA, but for all of New York.”
Bryan O’Malley, Executive Director of CDPAANYS
Representatives of the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York
Consumers of the program and their personal assistants, plus family members
Fiscal intermediary staff and representatives
Rally against Governor Cuomo’s proposed cuts to the CDPA program
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office
633 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10017
March 7, 2019
The CDPA program allows for people to receive better, personalized care because they can hire and fire their own staff. They then work through what are known as fiscal intermediaries (FI), who essentially handle the human resources end of the program. They help consumers of the program work within it and resolve any issues, protect taxpayers’ funds through increasingly complex Medicaid compliances and fraud detection services, and they help the consumers learn how to be better bosses.
What Governor Cuomo is proposing could lead to 9 out of every 10 FI agencies in the state to be closed by the state Department of Health immediately, with the hopes of just bringing it down to one agency. The restructuring of the program could lead to an 80 percent cut of the administrative component of the reimbursement program, which would put the remaining FI agencies out of business.
With the restructuring of this program, many of the people who have been receiving medical care at home could be forced to go into nursing homes. And without the ability to choose who provides your care, that also means working with someone you’re not familiar or comfortable with. This could be any even bigger problem with people who have different cultural backgrounds or speak another language. The proposed restructuring of the program, which are essentially cuts, could lead to a devastating impact on the quality of life of consumers of the program.
Other states have tried a similar cut back to one agency, only to see disastrous results.