Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing to cut millions of dollars to the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), a state-wide Medicaid program which allows people to choose their own at-home care and who provides it.
Cuomo’s proposed $75 million dollar cut to CDPAP is something Republican Assemblyman Brian Manktelow, 130th District, says will primarily affect those with disabilities and those advanced in years, who rely on alternative home-based services and personal care. He is opposed to cutting the funding.
Manktelow says, “Well I think as a society, we need to take care of our people and especially our young people, and our seniors and also the people who need help.”
Republican Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, 133rd District, feels the cuts would mean the end of the program itself. “Because effectively by cutting the program by $75 million dollars, effectively this will end the program.”
Stephanie Woodward with the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester says this is a complicated policy for sure; but it comes down to how some of the most vulnerable get the most intimate of care, and where they choose to get it.”
“You want to be in charge of who has the keys to your home, who touches your body, who helps you with the most intimate tasks…this is all about control over our own lives and it helps disabled people, and elderly people as they age stay in their own homes.”
Woodward says cutting these funds might actually cost the state more money in the long run. People with greater needs will have to be placed in care facilities, adding, “And that means you’re going to have to go to a nursing home and nursing homes cost people far more than community-based services do.
Assemblyman Manktelow echoed Woodward’s statement saying, “As things happen (e.g., health events), in different places, it’s going to cost the state and taxpayers more money.”
The plea from Assemblywoman Byrnes? She says, “I hope that the Governor changes his mind, and moves to restore that funding.”
A statement from the New York State Department of Health is as follows: “The Governor’s Executive Budget maintains the state’s full commitment to the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program. The more than 70,000 self-directing consumers who employ their own aide, including in some cases family members and friends, will continue to receive services as they do today without any reduction in care, with no change in cost, and the program will continue to be available as it is today to new consumers.”
Guidelines on the CDPAP program from the New York State Department of Health can be found here.