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Molinaro Demands Hochul Withdraw Plan To Cut Disability Services

Binghamton, NY – U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (NY-19) today demanded Governor Kathy Hochul withdraw her proposed plan to cut specialized care services for individuals with disabilities across Upstate New York. 

A proposal in the Governor's Fiscal Year 2025 budget will cut funds from the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), which allows individuals with disabilities and those with chronic illnesses to have a family member or trusted friend as their caregiver. These caregivers are able to provide specialized services at home and get reimbursed by Medicaid. 

In a letter to Governor Hochul, Rep. Molinaro urged the Governor to rescind the proposal and work with lawmakers to ensure CDPAP continues to operate and provide the necessary support to individuals with disabilities. 

Rep. Molinaro said, “The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program helps people with disabilities achieve independence. If this federally supported program is gutted, those with disabilities will be pushed into the shadows of society or forced to enter costly nursing homes that lack specialized care. Unbelievably that’s exactly what Governor Hochul is trying to do. These heartless cuts are despicable. Yet again, the disability community is being forced to shoulder another Governor’s fiscal irresponsibility. Governor Hochul, withdraw this plan."

The full text of Rep. Molinaro’s letter can be found below:

Dear Governor Hochul,  

As you know, the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) has served as a lifeline for thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers, particularly those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. A proposal added to your 30-Day Amendments to the FY25 Budget would give the Department of Health increased regulatory oversight over the CDPAP and effectively ban Designated Representatives (DR) from acting on behalf of those whose disabilities prevent them from registering for CDPAP and the necessary services they need.

Since DRs are a reasonable accommodation for those with disabilities, please reconsider this proposal and ensure that those with disabilities have the resources necessary to obtain services, such as CDPAP, to live healthier, fuller lives. As a service designated under New York State’s Medicaid Plan, CDPAP must be offered statewide to any individual who meets the eligibility criteria. Furthermore, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits the use of eligibility criteria to screen out individuals based on their disability. Prohibiting an individual with a disability from having a DR would seriously implicate their ability to obtain CDPAP services and would deny many from the program.

DRs have played a critical role in CDPAP and are an important resource for children, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and those who are non-verbal or face a language barrier. Exacerbated by the current home-health aid workforce shortage, especially in the Upstate communities like the ones I represent, your proposed change would leave tens of thousands of people suddenly ineligible for CDPAP with no other way for them to receive services. Many will be forced to utilize Private Duty Nursing or be placed into nursing homes; both far more costly to the State and quality of life for the consumer if they can find that service at all.

Without DRs, many of whom are family members or relatives, CDPAP enrollees would not have access to personalized and timely care and services that suit their specific needs. As a father of a child with a disability and longstanding advocate for our IDD community, your illegal proposal harms our most vulnerable New Yorkers. Given your commitment to ensure those with disabilities have access to resources and services to lead more independent lives, I urge you to immediately reconsider this proposal and work with state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to ensure the CDPAP continues to operate as it was intended.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your response.