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Brexit wins at the polls in the U.K.; major changes come to New England immigration courts today; and more than a million acres in California have been cleared for oil and gas drilling.

2020Talks - December 13, 2013  

The House passes legislation to reign in drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on the upswing, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang plays Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten - who's running against long-time incumbent Steve King - in a game of basketball.

Many New Yorkers with Disabilities in for a Rude Surprise

April 30, 2007

Many New Yorkers and children with disabilities may be in harm's way Tuesday as they're automatically transferred from their current Medicaid coverage into managed care. Susan Dooha with the Center for Independence of the Disabled says among the people affected is a 13-year-old named Bryan, who is blind, can't chew on his own and functions like a 5-month-old. She says the state knew Bryan's health needs were too complex for an HMO, but the system sends him to managed care anyway.

“Mothers and children are experiencing enormous hardship when the children aren't able to get the regular skilled nursing, neurology, nutrition, and other therapy services that they need.”

State officials are transferring 10,000 New Yorkers to managed care every month. They say it's an efficient way to provide health care, and people with severe disabilities can opt out under some circumstances. Dooha says it's wrong to put that burden on people with disabilities. In Bryan's case, the necessary forms never reached his mom, so he lost out on critical care for more than two weeks

The system is working backwards and putting New Yorkers with disabilities into harm's way, according to Lisa Sbrana with the Legal Aid Society. She got a call from the mother of a severely disabled teen who lost his 12-hour-a-day nursing care when the state automatically enrolled him into an HMO.

“By the time they got to us, her son who is 13 years old, requires diapers and nutritional therapy, had had no services in place for more than two weeks.”

Dooha points out that adults and children with disabilities in the five boroughs and mid-Hudson region have been going without needed surgery, nursing and nutritional care.

“We've been saying to the state of New York since the mid 90's, don't start by enrolling people with the most complex needs; use the time when you are enrolling the relatively healthy folks to get ready for the people with the more complex needs.”

Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NY