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Medicaid Reform

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Medicaid is one of the primary cost drivers in the state; reforming the system is long overdue. As policy makers explore possible ways to contain costs, they also must balance the needs of the most vulnerable New Yorkers who depend on services that Medicaid provides. Today on the Capitol Pressroom we discuss the impact that certain state policies have had on two of these groups: people with mental illness and people with developmental disabilities.

Mental Illness
When state psychiatric facilities close, where do the residents go? According to the Mental Illness Policy Organization, too many go to prison. Patricia Baker, Vice President the New York State Public Employees Federation joins us along with DJ Jaffe, the founder of Mental Illness Policy Org to discuss what their respective organizations both consider trends of concern regarding the state's policy of transitioning people with mental illness from state institutions into community-based care.

Developmental Disabilities
Similarly, the state is hoping to close some larger institutions where people with developmental disabilities live. This comes in response to both the cost of care, as well as widely publicized systemic abuses within the system. Albany Law School's Bridgit Burke and Rhonda Frederick of the nonprofit provider Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York will share concerns about the changes being implemented.

“Home” Rulings
Ithaca attorney Helen Slottje, of the Community Environmental Defense Council joins us along with Katherine Nadeau of Environmental Advocates with a pro-home rule perspective on the court decisions in both the Dryden & Middlefield cases.

For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.

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The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Reaction to the Governor's budget address from Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

and

Senator Liz Krueger, ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee

Eric County Republican Senator Pat Gallivan has been pushing an incremental freeze to the local share of Medicaid. We'll hear his thoughts on the Governor's plan.

And how will any shifts from localities to the state be paid for? It's a concern to advocates for long-term care. We speak with Joanne Cunningham of the Home Care Association and Bill Ferris of AARP.

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The Empire

Cuomo's 2012 budget will look to keep the state on track while touching the third rails

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

In today's budget speech we could see Governor Andrew Cuomo expending some of the horde of political capital he continues to pile up.

First and foremost, there's the issue of the approximately $2.1 billion budget gap projected for next year. After restructuring the tax code to include higher-income earners paying more, reports indicate the Governor will again turn to state agencies, asking for a two-and-a-half percent cut across the board.

Then there's the promised four percent increase for both education and healthcare in this budget. Cuomo's already made reforming Medicaid an agenda item in his administration, but appears to have stopped short of the call for the state to take up the call for the state to fully takeover pay for the program.

One of the biggest battles--and seemingly a perennial one--is likely to be over the Governor's call for a teacher evaluation system. This is almost certainly setting up a fight with the state's teachers union.

Another battle between Cuomo and the union's is expected to come from the Governor's proposal for a new pension tier. It's being reported he'll seek a 401(k)-like system for incoming government workers, including first responders.

Another interesting note: the budget won't include money for hydrofracking. Conversations with people working on the issue, some of whom are close with the Cuomo administration, have indicated a growing uneasy with the issue inside the Governor's office. The lack of financing in this coming year indicates that, at the very least, Cuomo is taking a longer, harder look at the process.

As soon as we get our hands on the budget, we'll start digging through to get you important details on the Governor's priorities for the coming year.

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The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

If you have something to say about hydrofracking, you need to tell the DEC today. Why? Tomorrow is the deadline for public comment on the issue. Advocates on all sides are expected to rally in Albany today. We will speak to members of a pro-drilling land owners coalition, as well as to a contingent of anti-frackers from Tompkins County including Jannette Barthe and Martha Robertson.

One analysis of the State Senate majority’s plans for an additional seat suggests that the extra representation would negate the effects of the GOP’s loss in the prison gerrymandering lawsuit. Whew. That’s a mouthful. With analysis from the Democrat’s perspective, we speak with Senators Michael Gianaris, D – Astoria and Liz Krueger, D – Manhattan.

We also hear analysis from the Republican’s perspective.

Lara Kassel of Medicaid Matters updates us on the progress of the Medicaid Redesign Committee.

Yesterday SUNY’s Chancellor Nancy Zimpher presented her State of SUNY address. Today she joins us with details. We will also ask her to weigh in on the explosive teacher evaluation issue stemming from New York City’s failure to come to an agreement on the issue, prompting State Ed Commissioner Dr. John King put the brakes on some funding.

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