NY Senator Kemp Hannon Defends Disability Community and Attendants from Cuts

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Advocates from the Center for Disability Rights today praised Long Island Senator Kemp Hannon for his swift action calling for the restoration of adequate payment rates for workers who provide Consumer Directed Personal Attendant Services (CDPAS). In recent weeks, disabled people both upstate and downstate have said that their CDPAS attendants’ wages were being cut by as much as two or three dollars because the MCOs have cut reimbursement rates for those attendants.

“We are truly grateful for Senator Hannon’s leadership in calling on the State to address this problem,” said Adam Prizio, Manager of Government Affairs at the Center for Disability Rights. “These cuts are gutting a program that has supported the independence and integration of people with disabilities for many years. Our attendants are already making less than they were in 2011. It’s encouraging to see the Chair of the Senate Health Committee addressing this issue and supporting our rights through CDPAS.”

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo toured the state to talk about the importance of a living wage, but the workers who support the independence and integration of people with disabilities are being left behind by a managed care system which is the Governor’s signature policy initiative in health reform.

“[CDPAS] saves an enormous amount of money for the state, provides consumers with good and essential care not easily replaced, and is an important part of the State’s compliance with Olmstead and access to enhanced funding through the Community First Choice Option” wrote Senator Hannon in a letter on Friday criticizing the cuts. “New York State cannot sit back and leave this to the [MCOs] and providers to work out. Nor can the state allow the program to fail because rates are inadequate. Doing so will not only be costly to the state, it will be devastating to the consumers and families [CDPAS] serves.”

Contact Adam Prizio or Stephanie Woodward for more information.