Affiliate Update 2011

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CP of NYS NEWS - 8/3/11 - Volume 17, Issue 7

8/3/2011 2:09:00 PM

Click here CP NEWS 8-3-11 to download PDF.






White House Says Medicaid, Medicare Safe From Cuts; For Now

Governor Cuomo Signs TBI Bill

Governor Cuomo Signs Gold Alert For Missing Vulnerable Adults

People First Waiver Web Page Update

Governor Appoints Sundram to Evaluate NYS Programs

CP of NYS Submits Comments to SED Regarding Mandate Relief Proposals

OPWDD Commissioner Receives “Visions of New York” Poster and Original Winning Artwork From QCP Artists

Roosevelt Island Exhibit Features Work By Artists With Disabilities Representing CP of NYS Affiliates

Patients, Providers Benefit From Medicaid

Study Confirms Caretakers Experience Increased Stress





The White House, on a conference call on Monday, August 1, said that the debt reduction deal forged over the previous weekend would protect Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security benefits and Food Stamps from an initial round of nearly $1Trillion in spending cuts to be realized over the next decade. The savings will come largely from $350 Billion in cuts to the Department of Defense budget with another $400 Billion in cuts coming from domestic discretionary programs. The President is also authorized to increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 Trillion, which will eliminate the need for additional increases until 2013.


The deal creates a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Committee to identify an additional $1.5 Trillion in deficit reduction by the end of this year. The committee must propose legislation by November 23, 2011 and Congress must vote on the committee recommendations by December 23, 2011. The committee will be instructed to consider all priorities of both parties, including both Entitlement and Tax Reform.


If the committee fails in its charge, an enforcement mechanism will trigger automatic spending reductions starting in 2013. Those reductions would be split equally between domestic and defense spending. Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families and civilian and military retirement benefits would be exempted from these mandatory cuts. While benefits would be exempted, any cuts to Medicare would be capped at two percent and would be limited to provider payments.


The agreement passed the House of Representatives, 269 to 161, on the evening of August 1 with Representative Gabby Giffords (D-Arizona) returning to the Chamber to cast her vote in favor. This was the first time Rep. Giffords had returned to Congress since she was shot in November. Observers also said that the reaction of her colleagues was the first sign of bipartisanship since the debt ceiling negotiations began. The bill passed the Senate, 74 to 26, on August 2 and was signed by the President. As with the House, there were negative votes from both Democrats and Republicans signaling that this is a compromise agreement with plenty for everyone to dislike. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was one of just seven Senate Democrats who voted “no” on the bill, saying she did so because she believes the bill is unbalanced and unfair. New York’s Junior Senator said in a statement that she believes the debt deal did not go far enough and should have included both spending cuts and new revenue in the form of taxes on the rich. She said Congress had the chance to come up with a “sensible compromise” and missed its opportunity.


Barbara Crosier





On July 20, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law an exemption to the 20 session annual therapy limit on services received by people with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Article 28 clinics. Individuals under the age of 21 and individuals with a developmental disability were already exempt from the therapy limit in the Medicaid Redesign Team proposal that was passed as part of the 2011-2012 NYS Budget.


Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS) worked with Assemblymember Micah Kellner and Senator Kemp Hannon to get this legislation introduced, obtain a Message of Necessity from the Governor and have it enacted into law in a little more than 24 hours; a truly remarkable feat and something that would not have been possible without the hard work, support and dedication of those mentioned above.


CP of NYS would like to thank our Affiliates who called and wrote in support of the bill and especially to Assemblymember Kellner, Senator Hannon, Governor Cuomo and their staff. The new law (Chapter 220) and the CP of NYS letter to the Governor’s Counsel are available at the link below.


Barbara Crosier




Governor Cuomo signed S.3293-B (DeFrancisco)/A.676-B (Magnarelli) into law on July 25 as Chapter 222 of the Laws of 2011. CP of NYS strongly supported this new law which creates the Missing Vulnerable Adults Clearinghouse/Gold Alert. Currently, there is the Amber Alert for missing and vulnerable children, but New York State did not have anything for missing vulnerable adults. With this new law, New York State joins several other states in protecting vulnerable adults. 


Every year individuals with intellectual disabilities, who live with or attend programs and services operated or licensed through the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), become missing persons. Many of these individuals do not have the cognitive ability to negotiate their neighborhoods or public transportation and are in serious danger of being lost or victimized. OPWDD protocols for missing persons will be greatly enhanced through enactment of the Gold Alert/Missing Vulnerable Adults Clearinghouse law. 


CP of NYS greatly appreciates the work of the sponsors, Senator John DeFrancisco and Assemblymember William Magnarelli, as well as Governor Cuomo and his staff for signing the Gold Alert into law.


Barbara Crosier




Earlier this week, OPWDD posted on its People First Waiver Web page ( ) four informative interviews with experts regarding different models of coordinating and financing care. In the interviews, Commissioner Courtney Burke and noted experts shed light on new developments in health care and long-term care as they discuss behavioral healthcare organizations (BHOs), accountable care organizations (ACOs), the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) model, and managed long-term care. These interviews are part of the process currently underway to elicit information and experience that will support the work of designing the new waiver. This summer, the People First Waiver design teams and Steering Committee are exploring strategies for achieving the purposes and planned reforms of the People First Waiver.


Barbara Crosier




Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed Clarence Sundram as a Special Advisor on Vulnerable Persons to evaluate and provide recommendations concerning State programs related to developmental disabilities, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, children and the elderly. According to the Governor’s announcement, Mr. Sundram will be responsible for evaluating the protection, safety, and quality of care of vulnerable persons, the conditions of related State operated and licensed facilities, and the fiscal performance of related programs.


As part of this process, the public is encouraged to submit suggestions and recommendations on how to improve state programs related to developmental disabilities, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, children and the elderly. Visit the Governor’s website at to submit your comments.


Al Shibley




CP of NYS, with input from Affiliates, has submitted public comments to the State Education Department (SED) in response to several recently disseminated mandate relief proposals (details can be found at ).


Highlights of CP of NYS’s comments include:


  • OPPOSE: conforming CSE membership to federal standards (this would eliminate the required membership of a psychologist, physician and parent member).


  • SUPPORT WITH CONDITIONS: conforming the CPSE to federal standards (this would eliminate the parent member and maintain the municipality representative).


  • OPPOSE: repealing parental choice of preschool evaluator(s) and establishing all school districts as approved evaluators.


  • SUPPORT: aligning the preschool initial evaluation timeline to be the same as the evaluation timeline for school-age students, which is 60 calendar days.


  • OPPOSE: elimination of required components of an evaluation.


  • SUPPORT: elimination of SED’s role in approving and monitoring Early Intervention providers.


To read the full text of the comments submitted by Judi Gerson on behalf of CP of NYS follow the link below.


Judi Gerson




Four artists from Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) met with Courtney Burke, Commissioner of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and presented her with a framed copy of the 2010 commemorative poster featuring artwork from 19 CP of NYS Affiliates. The artists also presented the Commissioner with their original winning artwork.


The "Visions of New York" poster consists of original artwork by individuals with disabilities supported by CP of NYS and OPWDD. The framed copy of the poster will be displayed at OPWDD in Albany.


This winning submission, NYC Bridge Overlook, was a collaborative project created by QCP artists Govein Bess, Denise Ford, Paul Maki and Maiya Ramdeo.


Susan Constantino, President and CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State, and Charles Houston, Executive Director of QCP, joined the artists at Commissioner Burke’s New York City office.


To view photographs of the event visit the OPWDD website here .


Al Shibley






Hector Cruz, an artist representing CP of NYS-Metro Services, poses at Gallery RIVAA with his self-portrait





Queens Centers for Progress (QCP), United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester and Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State-Metro Services (CP of NYS) joined with the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) to produce an exhibit of artwork by people with disabilities, June 25 through July17 at the Galley RIVAA, 527 Main Street on Roosevelt Island.


Nearly 150 people attended the opening reception at the gallery the evening of June 28. Representatives from all four CP of NYS Affiliates spoke during a brief program to introduce the exhibition and the artists to the Roosevelt Island community. The evening included brief remarks by one artist from each Affiliate representing their colleagues. Patricia Rodriguez (QCP), Lloyd Rainford (CP of NYS-Metro Services), Ollie Lowrey (CP of Westchester) and Andres Leon (UCP of New York City) expressed the pride each artist felt in seeing their work displayed in a professional venue.


The exhibition featured paintings, photography and other forms of artwork created by people with disabilities supported and served by the four participating organizations. The venue was first suggested by New York State Assemblymember Micah Kellner of Manhattan.


More than 75 works of art, produced by dozens of artists, were on display free of charge. Many of the pieces were offered for sale, with proceeds of the sale going directly to the artists. For more information, visit the websites of the participating agencies at , , , , or the Gallery RIVAA site at .


Al Shibley




The Rockefeller Institute has released results of a study that indicates that being enrolled in Medicaid is beneficial for both patients and health care providers in important ways. The groundbreaking study was conducted by The Oregon Health Study Group, headed by economists from MIT and the Harvard School of Public Health, and released July 7 by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study is significant and unique in the quality of its evidence on the effects that being insured have on poor people, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow James Fossett writes in a new commentary.


Fossett writes, however, that if you’ve seen one Medicaid program, then you’ve seen one Medicaid program. The wide variation in Medicaid programs among states means that the study may be less helpful in gauging the effects of Medicaid enrollment on the health care of recipients nationally.


To read Fossett’s full article, visit the Institute Web site .


Al Shibley




A study released last month by AARP found that more than 40 million Americans are providing as much as 80 million hours a year of care for aging individuals or people with disabilities. The report also said that care giving leads to increased levels of stress and depression, as well as financial compromises and social isolation.


Read the story and find a link to the AARP study here .

Al Shibley

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