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ACTION ALERT: Tell Gov. Cuomo “No” to Medicaid Cuts

Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team’s proposed Medicaid cuts will put thousands of seniors and people with disabilities at risk.  They will deprive seniors and those with disabilities of life-saving and medically necessary long-term care. During the coronavirus pandemic, those most at risk (seniors and others with pre-existing health conditions) of contracting and dying from the disease will be the most harmed by these cuts. 

The proposed changes may sabotage NYS from receiving $6 billion in enhanced federal Medicaid funding under the emergency pandemic bill just passed by the Senate—and threaten health, safety and due process rights of the most vulnerable.

Let Governor Andrew Cuomo and your representative know that you say “No” to these proposed cuts.

The health of seniors and people with disabilities is at stake.

Proposed Medicaid Changes Put New York’s Most Vulnerable Individuals in Immediate Danger

The proposals are all aimed at the exact population that is most at risk from COVID19 – the elderly and disabled. The proposals virtually guarantee that huge numbers of elderly and disabled individuals will end up in institutional settings where they are most at risk of exposure to COVID19, a virtual death sentence for these medically frail individuals. REJECT these five Medicaid proposals by the MRT II:

Cuts in Financial Eligibility

  • Eliminating “spousal refusal” or “parental refusal” for children with severe disabilities – with New York’s Medicaid income limit below the Federal Poverty Level, a spouse’s or parent’s income and savings are needed to meet living expenses. Counties can and do sue some “refusing” spouses or parents for support – if they have the means to pay, they do. But banning Medicaid for all will throw out the baby with the bathwater.
  • Establishing a five year lookback for home and community-based eligibility will impose huge delays for receiving critical services that prevent accidents, avoidable injuries and unnecessary institutionalization. The burden of producing 5 years of financial records – and for the Medicaid agency to review them – hurts the vast majority of applicants who never had any assets to transfer. And with the income and asset limits so low, some people transfer modest funds to family, on whom they rely to support them using the transferred funds.
  • Slashing the Spousal Impoverishment Resource Allowance to the minimum allowed by the federal government – from $74,820 to only $25,728. As it is, New York’s resource allowance has not kept up with inflation because it does not include a cost of living index, unlike many other states. To reduce it will leave couples without resources to meet expenses, and put them at risk of losing their homes.

CUTS IN ACCESS TO MEDICAID HOME CARE

  • Requiring more than two “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL) to qualify for Medicaid personal care or CDPAP may sound benign, but as proposed, an ADL would only count if the individual needs “limited assistance,” defined as physical assistance, not the supervisory “cueing” assistance typically needed by those with cognitive impairments such as dementia or traumatic brain injury. Plus, it would eliminate “Level I” personal care known as housekeeping – a service already capped at 8 hours/week that prevents injuries for those whose disabilities make them unable chores like shopping, laundry, and meal preparation.
  • Imposing an additional Utilization Review for those who need 12+ Hours of Home Care to Determine if they can “Safely” Remain in the Community would use. “safety” as a pretext to deny Medicaid services for those with high needs — violating the Olmstead decision that entitles people with disabilities to live in the community under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Proposed Changes will Cost Money Instead of Save Money

  •  If the Coronavirus bill passed by the U.S. House is enacted, the Maintenance of Effort provision will bar New York from receiving over $6 billion in an enhanced federal match because a state may not make eligibility standards, methodologies, or procedures more restrictive than they were on Jan. 1, 2020.

Click here to downloand our position paper. 

Click here to download an excutive summary. 

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