People with Disabilities Ready to Take the Governor’s Charge

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February 1, 2011

Rochester: Diane Coleman, Director of Advocacy, (585) 546-7510,
Albany: Leah Farrell, Policy Analyst, (518) 320-7100,

People with Disabilities Ready to Take the Governor’s Charge

(Albany, NY): Today, Governor Cuomo released his 2011-2012 Executive Budget with his plans to tackle the State’s $10 billion budget deficit. Budget deficits tend to target programs that serve people with disabilities, but the disability community finds itself both encouraged and concerned with the Budget package.

“What we really like about this budget is the Governor’s approach,” said Bruce Darling, President and CEO for the Center for Disability Rights. “It’s an approach that offers a real opportunity to introduce overdue reforms to the system. We’ve taken advantage of his invitation and made comprehensive reform proposals. However, the details are largely put off to a committee process that may or may not recommend what we feel is right. At this point, we have no option but trust that the Governor’s appointees will do the right thing and listen to what we’ve proposed.”

Medicaid, which is the only public program for long term care for seniors and people with disabilities, would be reduced by $2.85 billion if the Governor’s proposal was adopted. The Governor specifically called for “cutting the fat” in programs in order to get the dollars to the people that directly provide the service as well as the people who directly receive the service.

“Again, we find ourselves in complete agreement with the Governor”, said Darling. “Not all home care is the same. Many people with disabilities want control over their care. Consumer directed home care programs give them that control, and the service is provided without the fat.”

In consumer directed programs, the consumer manages their services as opposed to an agency, significantly reducing administrative costs. For example, in the already established New York Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, after the government determines the hours of home care a person needs per week, the consumer (or family member) hires, trains, and schedules their direct care worker – saving the state money. “It’s a win-win-win situation”, said Darling. “The consumer, the worker and the taxpayer all benefit”.

Expanding consumer directed services is one of eight cost-savings proposals that disability advocates have put forth that reduce Medicaid spending while promoting independence and integration. These recommendations are estimated to save New York over $1 billion over the next five years. Visit for a copy of the report and the accompanying fiscal analysis.

The Center for Disability Rights, Inc. (CDR) is a non-profit service and advocacy organization devoted to the full integration, independence and civil rights of people of all ages with all types of disabilities. With services in 11 counties in New York State and offices in Rochester, Corning, Geneva, and Albany, CDR represents the concerns of thousands of people with disabilities.

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