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New York families worried about Medicaid cuts

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed alterations to New York’s Medicaid-funded Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) are stirring concerns among families reliant on in-home caregivers. The proposed changes suggest removing the role of designated representatives, who are crucial for participants needing assistance in hiring and managing personal caregivers. This adjustment has prompted worries about the care and autonomy of individuals like Amanda from Rensselaer County, who, due to her developmental disability, depends on her brother for care under her mother Linda’s supervision as her designated representative.

Organizations like Consumer Directed Choices, which supports the program, argue that removing designated representatives could negatively impact thousands of New Yorkers by disrupting established care arrangements. The program, praised for allowing Medicaid recipients the freedom to choose their caregivers, is facing scrutiny for rapid growth and concerns over fraud and qualifications of care providers.

State legislators acknowledge the program’s benefits but highlight the need for reforms to combat misuse and ensure its sustainability. Amid discussions on fraud and the program’s expansion, families fear that changes might undermine the unique support system that allows vulnerable individuals to receive care from trusted persons in the comfort of their homes. Governor Hochul’s office emphasized a commitment to balancing investment in the state’s future with fiscal stability, yet the debate continues over the potential impact of proposed budget adjustments on the CDPAP.