David J. Valesky's Blog

Updates on Senior Fair, Health Exchange, OPWDD Funding, Recent Interviews

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I am hosting a Senior Information Fair on Wednesday, October 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Kallet Civic Center in Oneida. Experts from local businesses, nonprofits and government agencies will provide important information on health care, STAR registration, housing, avoiding scams, local services, and more. All senior citizens in my district are invited to attend this free event.

Kinney Drugs will offer flu shots (with insurance card and co-payment), along with blood pressure checks and other health screenings. The flu shots are especially timely as the first case of flu was reported in Madison County this week. Tim Horton’s is providing refreshments.

For a full list of exhibitors, please visit my website. For more information about the fair, call my office at 315-478-8745 or email valesky@nysenate.gov.

New York State of Health Insurance Exchange Now Open

As of October 1, individuals, families, and small businesses can purchase health insurance through New York State of Health, the official state health plan marketplace. People can compare insurance options; calculate costs; check eligibility and sign up for programs like Medicaid; learn about financial assistance; and enroll online, in-person, over the phone, or by mail. Coverage is effective starting January 1, 2014.

Trained representatives are available now to answer questions and help New Yorkers though every step of the process. NYSOH can be reached at 1-855-355-5777, Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information about the NYSOH marketplace, visit the NYSOH website

$90 Million in Funding Restored to OPWDD

As many of you know, I have been working with my colleagues to ensure that service providers for those with developmental disabilities were not crippled by budget cuts. I am pleased to report Governor Cuomo signed legislation this week to restore up to $90 million in funding for the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, and thereby the service providers.

Regulatory Reform Discussion on Capital Tonight

I appeared on Capital Tonight on YNN this week, along with Sens. Gallivan and Marchione, to talk about the regulatory reform hearings we have been conducting around the state to find burdensome and unnecessary regulations. You can watch the interview here.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I encourage all women to take care of their health and to schedule mammograms. Often, women will put their own health on hold as they take care of family members, but maintaining good health allows women to continue taking good care of their families. Early detection is key to successful treatment. The Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program offers information and emotional support from specially trained volunteers and all of its services are free. The hotline number is 800-877-8077.

Taking a Lesson from New York State

With a lot of news focused on the shutdown of the federal government, I’ve suggested that our Congressional leaders take a lesson from the bipartisan approach the IDC has taken in the State Senate. Once called the most dysfunctional body in the country, we’ve turned things around and I think we are headed in the right direction. I recently did an interview on the subject, you can see it here