Erik McGregor Photography

Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist.

Disabled Activists Rally to Repeal Medicaid Eligibility Cuts

New York, NY – Members of Downstate New York ADAPT gathered outside the New York City Council Offices at 250 Broadway on February 7, 2022 as disabled activists across New York strongly disagree with the State’s refusal to pass bills A.5367 and S.5028 to repeal deadly restrictions to home care access amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disabled activists across the state have long been furious with the deadly restrictions imposed on Medicaid-funded home care eligibility since it was proposed by the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT 2) and included in the final state budget in April 2020. An especially violent and callous change amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Downstate New York ADAPT is calling for the repeal of the law by demanding immediate action from the state Legislature. A protest to demand inclusion of bills A5367A / S5028A into the upcoming one-house budget took place WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 9th, starting at 12:15 PM at 250 Broadway in Manhattan.

The new rules, which have yet to go into effect, cut eligibility to home care and personal care services for all but those facing the most significant disabilities, preventing access to lower-cost services that help avoid health deterioration, hospitalization, or other institutional placement. Under the new rules, individuals would become eligible for nursing home care well before they are able to receive home care services. The cuts are the equivalent of telling people they are no longer able to go to the doctor for a cold but must instead wait until it turns into pneumonia before receiving care.

Making the eligibility criteria for home care more strict than that of nursing home placement would upend federal mandates and policies, leaving the State vulnerable to lawsuits and a significant loss of critical federal funds. Advocates contend that implementing these cuts will not only waste money but also worsen the institutional bias in New York State, which currently encourages nursing home placement above providing services in home and community-based settings.

Veteran home care worker Philip Bennett says, “A few years ago my aunt was in a nursing home. The cost to tax-payers was $550 per day. I got her home and set her up with home care, and the cost decreased to $148. Not only is the slant to nursing homes morally devoid, but fiscally irresponsible.”

In response to the home care eligibility changes, members from Downstate New York ADAPT and Capital District ADAPT worked with Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and Senator Gustavo Rivera in late 2020 to draft the bills that would repeal the cuts.

Downstate New York ADAPT is now calling on all of our state legislators to demand the inclusion of the repeal bill A5367A / S5028A in the FY2023 budget that is currently under discussion.

Disabled Activists Rally to Repeal Medicaid Eligibility Cuts and Save The CDPA

© Erik McGregor – erikrivas@hotmail.com – 917-225-8963

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