Call to Action Comes in the Wake of Congressional Report on Alleged Waste, Fraud and Mismanagement Within NY Medicaid Program, Inaction of OMIG, Resulting in Potential Loss of Billions in Federal Dollars
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and the Senate Republican Conference today called for an immediate independent audit of New York State’s Medicaid program and announced a forthcoming joint roundtable meeting of the Senate Health and Investigations Committees to investigate allegations of complacency and inaction by the state Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG).
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the proposed 2013-14Executive Budget and Management Plan that builds on two years of balanced, fiscally responsible budgeting and invests in economic development, education reform, rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, provides support to local governments and school districts, and includes no new taxes or fees.
Highlights of the Executive Budget:
· Eliminates $1.3 billion budget gap with no new taxes or fees. The expected gap for 2013-14 was projected to be $17.4 billion prior to the last two responsible budgets.
· Holds spending increases below 2 percent for third consecutive year.
From August through October, the senator sponsored a series of lectures at senior centers in his district covering the changes to New York’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) prescription-drug program, now that the 2012-13 state budget restored $30.6 million, that will affect EPIC members starting January 1, 2013.
Seniors with questions about EPIC—the newly restored program which helps low-income seniors with the cost of their prescription drugs—could get them answered at Senator Ritchie's Senior Health and Wellness Fair, held recently in Oswego County.
From sitting down with seniors for coffee at Meadowview Apartments in Central Square, to talking with veterans at an annual ham dinner in Dexter, I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to the concerns of the older residents living in our region.
One of the biggest opportunities for chatting up seniors was at my Senior Health and Wellness Fairs, held recently in Central and Northern New York. The events, which attracted more than 2,000 seniors, were held in Jefferson, Oswego and for the very first time ever, in St. Lawrence County.
Special Guest Aging Committee Chair Senator David Valesky on Hand for EPIC Q&A Forum
Nearly 300 Central New York seniors packed Fulton’s War Memorial on Thursday, taking part in State Senator Patty Ritchie’s Senior Health and Wellness Fair, which was co-hosted by Assemblyman Will Barclay.
Special guest Senator David Valesky, Chair of the Senate’s Aging Committee, was on hand at the event for a Q&A session on EPIC, the newly restored program which helps low-income seniors—including more than 10,000 in Senator Ritchie’s district—with the cost of their prescription drugs.
Q&A on EPIC Program Hosted by Sen. David Valesky, Free Lunch,
Entertainment by “Anybody’s Guess”
Seniors with questions about the state’s EPIC prescription drug program can get them answered at Senator Ritchie’s Senior Health and Wellness Fair, being held on Thursday October 11th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Fulton’s War Memorial, located at 609 West Broadway.
Special guest Senator David Valesky, Chair of the Senate’s Aging Committee, will co-host a Q&A forum on EPIC, the newly restored program which helps low-income seniors—including more than 10,000 in Senator Ritchie’s district—with the cost of their prescription drugs.
1,000 seniors turned out for the 2d Annual Senator Ritchie Senior Health and Wellness Fair, held at the Watertown Fairgounds Arena. The event featured free information, health checks and giveaways--all aimed at heping seniotrs stay healthy and active.
Two more Senior fairs are planned for Oct. 3 in Ogdensburg, and Oct. 11 in Fulton.
This past year, we were successful in restoring funding to the EPIC program, which assists low-income seniors with the cost of their prescription drugs. I helped establish this program, and restoring these funds was an important priority for me.
These budget restorations will significantly benefit eligible seniors, and will result in the restoration of the two plan system: the EPIC fee program and the EPIC deductible plan.
The Health Department will be contacting all current EPIC members about these changes, so please keep an eye out for a letter from them.