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AARP NY: Final NYS Budget Needs Rx Price Transparency, More Aid for Home Care & Nursing Home Oversight

Posted on 03/15/23 by Erik Kriss

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AARP NY Also Calls for ‘Data Matching’ to Enroll More Qualifying Older Adults in Assistance Programs, Drive Billions More in Federal Aid

ALBANY, N.Y. - AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement today on the New York State legislature’s 2023-24 State Budget counterproposals:

“AARP New York urges lawmakers and the Governor to include in the final 2023-24 state budget due April 1 meaningful prescription drug price transparency, more robust funding for nursing home oversight and in-home services for the elderly, and a data matching provision to connect older New Yorkers with the benefits they qualify for.”

Rx Price Transparency

“The State Senate has stepped to the plate for New Yorkers who rely on prescription drug medication by including Governor Hochul’s proposal to require advance notice of price hikes and expand the State’s authority to investigate price increases.

“The Assembly, on the other hand, inexcusably dropped these comprehensive and sensible reforms from its budget proposal.

Nursing Home Oversight

“AARP New York applauds the Assembly for proposing an additional $12.5 million for nursing home oversight through the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. We’ve been urging a $15 million increase to enable LTCOP to hire 235 full-time staff to meet the program’s own stated goal of one visit per week per facility for New York’s 1,400 nursing homes, assisted living and other adult care facilities statewide.

“The Senate fell woefully short of meaningful funding, proposing only a $2 million increase. That would mean this public oversight agency that acts as the eyes and ears of residents would remain woefully underfunded. Our parents, grandparents, spouses and loved ones deserve better.”

In-Home Services for the Elderly

“AARP New York also applauds the Senate for proposing a significant and long overdue increase in funding for compassionate and cost-effective in-home services for the elderly - $15 million for the Community Services for the Elderly Program. Non-Medicaid services such as home delivered meals and assistance with daily activities support unpaid family caregivers in helping our older loved ones age at home – where the vast majority want – rather than in far costlier and mostly taxpayer-funded nursing homes. This additional funding would help reduce waiting lists, where an estimated 10,000 New Yorkers 60 and older who qualify for the programs are stuck waiting for services.”

Fair Pay for Home Care

“AARP applauds both houses for supporting provisions to help address the home care worker crisis and support family caregivers in helping more older New Yorkers stay out of nursing homes and remain in their own homes and communities where the vast majority want to be. We’re encouraged to see both chambers supporting restoration of indexing home care wages to the minimum wage and working to ensure taxpayer dollars actually make it to those providing care, and to the Senate for adding a $2-an-hour increase in home care worker wages. We urge the Governor and lawmakers to follow through and include Fair Pay for Home Care in the final state budget.”

Data Matching

“We support the Senate’s proposed ‘data matching’ plan to help enroll qualifying New Yorkers in utility assistance programs that help them pay their utility bills. We urge the State to expand the data matching concept – enrolling older adults who are participating in some benefits programs but not others for which they qualify - to ensure eligible New Yorkers are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Home Energy Assistance and Medicare Savings programs. That would help hundreds of thousands of New York Medicare beneficiaries save $7,000 on average in premium and prescription drug costs a year, and drive an estimated $2.5 billion more in federal aid overall to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers while stimulating economies around the state by an estimated $4.4 billion annually.”

Contact: Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org

Follow us on Twitter: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.orgwww.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

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This story is provided by AARP New York. Visit the AARP New York page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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