ACCESSABILITY

Vote Like It Matters, Because It Does

By Maria Dibble

I was raised to believe that the United States was the greatest country on earth and I still believe that. Have we made mistakes? Of course we have. Are we perfect? Not by a long shot. Is everyone treated equally and fairly? Certainly not yet. But if we want to improve things in our nation, there is only one sure way to do it: VOTE!

We take this right to vote for granted in America. I don’t think most people appreciate the value of one vote. Races across even our own region have been very close in recent years, and every single vote had an impact. Isn’t that amazing? Your single vote could make the difference between a candidate winning and losing. It’s a lot of power to have, and it should be exercised judiciously, but it should be used.

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Managed Care Caught Ripping off the State, Again!

Once again NY’s Medicaid managed care system has failed an audit by the state’s Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli. This time DiNapoli reported that managed care plans were overpaid about $2.8 billion, mostly for services that were never received, between January 2015 and March 2021. DiNapoli’s report, and, therefore, the media, focused on about $700 million that was paid for services for people who allegedly were not eligible for them. However, the state’s managed care system, which is run by the Department of Health (DOH), has a long history of erroneously declaring people ineligible for Medicaid—errors that are corrected after strenuous advocacy and formal appeals. What is far more troubling is the failure of managed care plans to adequately meet the needs of eligible people with disabilities for whom they were paid billions of dollars.

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Supported Decision Making and Other New (F)Laws

Governor Hochul proudly announced that she had signed several bills “upholding the rights of people with disabilities” in late July.

A careful review of those bills indicates not much to be proud of.

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