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Recortes al Presupuesto pudieran amenazar al Programa de Asistencia Personal Dirigido por el Consumidor

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019   

NEW YORK -- Personas defensoras de la gente con discapacidades están pidiéndole al Gobernador Andrew Cuomo que reponga los fondos recortados al Programa de Asistencia Personal Dirigido por el Consumidor.

Comenta Heidi Siegfried, directora de política sanitaria en el Centro para la Independencia de las Personas con Necesidades Especiales, de Nueva York (Center for Independence of the Disabled New York).

Un recorte a los fondos del estado tendrá un impacto severo en un programa que apoya a la gente con limitaciones para que permanezca en su casa. Ese es el mensaje que los defensores de las personas con discapacidades quieren que oiga el Gobernador Andrew Cuomo.

El Programa de Asistencia Personal Dirigido por los Consumidores (Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program) permite que quienes requieren cuidados a domicilio contraten a quienes brindan esa ayuda, incluso a familiares o amistades. El programa ayuda a que más de 70 mil neoyorquinos consigan ayuda pagada que les proporcionen sus personas de confianza, en vez de apoyarse en agencias que mandan a extraños a sus hogares.

El presupuesto estatal reduce los fondos para los intermediarios fiscales, que administran el programa, en 150 millones de dólares. En opinión de Heidi Siegfried, directora de política sanitaria en el Centro para la Independencia de las Personas con Necesidades Especiales, de Nueva York, eso efectivamente terminará con la disponibilidad del programa para muchas personas.

"Los intermediarios fiscales dicen que simplemente no podrán manejar esto y que haya cientos a quienes se les cierran las puertas significa que no habrá otro intermediario fiscal al que puedan acudir el trabajador ni el consumidor para seguir ofreciendo el servicio.”

La oficina estatal del presupuesto dice que el recorte no reducirá el número de personas inscritas en el programa ni las horas de atención que reciben.

La administración Cuomo dice que de 2012 a 2018 el número de intermediarios fiscales creció de 58 a más de 600, con poco control de calidad. Pero Siegfried señala que el estado sólo ha analizado informes de costos de alrededor del diez por ciento de esos intermediarios.

"El Departamento de Salud debería conseguir reportes de costos de todos los fiscales intermediarios y hacer de veras un análisis de costos por manejar el programa, para que no se hunda.”

Dice que el tamaño del recorte a los fondos estaba predeterminado, no basado en el costo actual de administrar el programa.

Disclosure: Center for Independence of the Disabled New York contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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