CDCAN LOGOCDCAN  ALERT
California Disability Community Action Network
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Marty Omoto -  martyomoto@rcip.com   website:   www.cdcan.us 
ALERT #2008-02    February 1, 2008 - Friday afternoon 
 
REMEMBERING ADAM MARSHALL AND JULIE GUZMAN
ADVOCACY IS ALWAYS ABOUT PEOPLE
 
ACTION NEEDED FEB 4, 2008
Decisions are made by those who "show up".
Show up and provide brief comments on Governor's proposed major cuts to Medi-Cal, Regional Centers, Mental Health, Healthy Families
 
February 4, 2008 - Monday  1:00 PM
Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee
State Capitol - Room 4203
 
With California facing an enormous budget deficit of over $14.5 billion, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed billions of dollars of spending cuts across the board, including over a $1 billion of cuts in Medi-Cal alone. 
Many of these proposed cuts would be permanent, some taking effect as early as June 1, 2008 if the Legislature approves it.  Other cuts could be proposed when the Governor releases his revised proposed budget in May (called the "May Revise"). 
 
Proposed cuts that the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee will be hearing on Feb 4:
 
MEDI-CAL PROPOSED CUTS
Some of the major proposed cuts to the Medi-Cal Program that will be heard at the February 4th hearing:
 
Proposal to restore required quarterly status reports for children and adults (failure to return reports would mean the adult and any of their children on Medi-Cal would lose eligibility, though they could seek reinstatement)
 
Proposal to permanently eliminate payment of Medicare Part B premiums for people also on Medi-Cal share of cost
 
Proposal for the permanent elimination of several Medi-Cal "optional benefits" for adults to be effective, if approved, by June 1, 2008 as follows: 
* Acupuncture Services for Adults (includes treatment for pain syndromes and other medical conditions)
* Adult Dental services
* Audiology Services for adults (including screening, diagnostic evaluations, hearing aid evaluations and hearing therapy)
* Incontinence Creams and Washes for Adults 
* Chiropractor Services for Adults
* Optometry Services (includes eye examinations, and eyeglasses and diagnostic and related procedures to protect the health of a person's eyes; medically necessary low vision aids and prosthetic eye services for the visually impaired);
* Optician and Optical Laboratory services for adults (used to prescribe, dispense and make eyeglasses
* Podiatry Services for Adults (includes medical and surgical services by a podiatrist needed to treat disorders of a person's feet, ankles or tendons of the foot .)
* Psychology Services for Adults (includes services provided by or under supervision of a licensed psychologist)
* Speech Therapy (including language evaluation, speech evaluation, therapy, and speech generating device assessments
 
Proposal for a permanent Medi-Cal provider 10% rate reduction for both "fee for service" (Medi-Cal doctors that a person selects) and managed care plans, to be effective if approved, by July 1, 2008.
 
Proposal to Reduce by 10% Medi-Cal reimbursements to certain Long Term Care Facilities and programs (including District-Part facilities that are part of hospitals, Nursing Facilities-Level A, Adult Day Health Centers, Hospice, rural swing beds, subacute facilities and pediatric subacute facilities, to be effective, if approved by July 1, 2008
 
Proposal to reduce by 10% payments for private hospitals, district hospitals, "non-contract" hospitals, California Children's Services providers, Genetically Handicapped Persons Program (GHPP) providers, to be effective, if approved, by July 1, 2008
 
Proposal to Reduce Funding for Clinc Programs by 10% (includes Seasonal, Agricultural and Migratory Workers or SAMW clinics, Indian Health clinics, Rural Health Service clinics, Expanded Access to Primary Care clinics, Grants-In-Aid to clinics, to be effective, if approved, by July 1, 2008
 
HEALTHY FAMILIES PROPOSED CUTS
Some of the proposed cuts to the Healthy Families Program that will be heard on February 4th:
 
Proposal to reduce by 5% the rates paid to plans participating in the Healthy Families Program,  and an annual benefit limit for dental coverage in the program of $1,000.
 
Proposal to increase Healthy Families costs (premiums) to persons enrolled (no change for persons 100-150% of the federal poverty level; but would increase from $9 to $16 per child per month for families 151 to 200% over the federal poverty level, with family maximum amount increased from $27 to $48 per month.  Would increase from $15 per child per month to $19 for families over 200% of the federal poverty level, and increase the maximum premiums for those families from $45 to $57 per month. 
 
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Some of the major proposed cuts to mental health services that will be heard on February 4th:
 
Proposal to reduce by 5%, effective as of March 1, 2008, schedule of maximum allowances for the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Program that serves children with mental health needs, including many with other disabilities
 
Proposal to eliminate the cost of living increase for this program for the current year State budget and also for the 2008-2009 State Budget. 
 
Proposal that would require a 6 month reauthorization  by Day Treatment providers for a child, and proposal requiring that costs be reduced per client.
 
Proposal to reduce the state funding to county mental health plans for services under Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care Program of $16 million ($7.8 million of that federal funds) in the current budget year and another $46.7 million in the 2008-2009 State Budget year.
 
Proposal to eliminate the Community Treatment Facilities (CTF) Supplemental Rate, effective March 1, 2008 if approved by the Legislature.
 
Proposal to reduce by 10% funding to Caregiver Resource Centers who provide assistance to about 13,000 families caring for adult family members in their homes, effective March 1, 2008 if approved by the Legislature. 
 
REGIONAL CENTERS & DEVELOPMENTAL CENTERS:
Some of the major cuts proposed that need approval before March 1 in order to take effect immediately on July 1, 2008 include that will be heard on February 4th:
 
Proposal to make permanent and expand the Family Cost Participation Program by requiring parents with children with developmental disabilities under age of 3 years (and living at home) to pay a share of cost for day care, respite and camping services, and assessing a higher share of cost on parents with children with developmental disabilities whose incomes are above 400% of the federal poverty level, using a sliding scale, for respite, child day care and camping services. 
 
Proposal to make permanent, effective July 1, 2008, the various "cost containment" measures on regional center operations budget and the budget that funds community-based programs ("purchase of services") for a total reduction of $329.7 million ($228 million in state funds). 
These measures - once considered "temporary" include
* freezing non-community placement program start-ups;
* freeze rates for day programs, work activity programs and in-home respite programs;
* freeze rates for community care facilities and eliminate the SSI/SSP pass through;
* freeze regional center rates for contract services;
* freeze rates for habilitation services (supported employment program & work activity program);
* continue the delay from 60 to 120 days for intake and assessment,
* continue caseload ratio of 1 to 62 to 1 to 66 persons per service coordinator. 
* The narrowed eligibility for services would also remain in place. 
 
Proposal to reduce by 10% Regional Center community placement plan operations in the current State budget and also in the 2008-2009 budget.
 
Proposal to reduce by 10% funding for client rights advocacy at the Developmental Centers
 
Proposal to reduce by 10% the rates to the Supported Employment Program (reduces job coaching rates from $34.24 per hour to $30.82 per hour) effective July 1, 2008 if approved by the Legislature. 
 
OTHER PROPOSED CUTS ALREADY HEARD (NOT YET ACTED ON)
* Proposed permanent 18% reduction in non-medical domestic and related hours for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) to take effect July 1, 2008 for everyone
* Proposal to eliminate the cost of living increases scheduled for June 2008 and June 2009 for the SSP part of the SSI/SSP grants to lowest income persons with disabilities, seniors and the blind (the federal increase however will be passed through to recipients, including the one that went into effect January 2008 and also next January 2009)  (same reduction for the CAPI program - Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants that serve thousands of persons with disabilities, seniors and the blind who are documented and legal immigrants but who do not qualify for SSI/SSP)
* Proposal for 10% rate reductions to foster care and adoption assistance programs that impact thousands of children with special needs, disabilities and their families and providers
* Cuts proposed to the CalWORKS program - that impact thousands of families who have children with special needs or whose parents have special needs and disabilities
* Proposed cuts to many senior programs under the Department of Aging.  Major Proposed cuts to Adult Protective Services., 
* Proposed cuts to education that would have major impact to special education
 
SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT THE HEARING AND MORE
 
Q.: Should people with disabilities, seniors, people with mental health needs, family members and support workers come to this hearing on February 4th?
CDCAN: Yes, given the serious impact of the cuts - that are on top of proposed cuts to In-Home Supportive Services, Adult Protective Services, SSI/SSP, special education, senior programs, foster care and adoption assistance programs that impact children with special needs.  If people can travel - especially those within the Sacramento area, they should come to the hearing and show up and speak (briefly) during the time for public testimony.  There will be other hearings in March and April and early May too - but the February 4th hearing is important.   These proposed cuts impact a wide range of services and programs impacting nearly every person in the disability, mental health, senior and low income communities, including providers, workers and families. We are ONE community - don't let people tell you that cuts to one group is less important than another.
 
Q.: Will the public be allowed to testify?
CDCAN: Yes - there will be limited time for people to testify, though the amount of time will depend on the numbers of people, how long the hearing is going on and how long each person who testifies speaks.   People who want to provide comments should keep their testimony very, very brief and to the point.  People can submit their written comments to the chair that goes into more detail.  Taking more time to speak takes time away from others who also want to speak.  So it is important to be brief so that others can also speak.  Also - be respectful.
The Senate Budget Committee chair (Senator Denise Ducheny) and others on that committee have been extremely good and compassionate in listening to public testimony.  Be brief - and you can also simply say "I agree with the previous speaker" or say "I oppose these cuts".  Be sure to thank the committee and especially the chair. 
 
Q.: When can I testify on February 4th?
CDCAN: Normally the committee chair (Sen. Ducheny) will call for public testimony at the end of each specific agenda. Sometimes the chair will call for testimony after a grouping of agenda items under the same state department.  The best thing for people to do is to listen to the chair and follow the lead of others at the hearing.  If people start lining up (on the right side of the hearing room), that is another sign that public testimony is being taken or will be taken.  Persons who need assistance in getting up to the front of the hearing room to speak or cannot easily get up to the front area should signal Senate staff who are there  to provide security and logistics (one of them  is always walking around the hearing room, while another is standing at a small raised desk on the left wall of the hearing room near the front).
 
Q.: I cannot come on Monday on February 4th  - how else can I provide comments or concerns about these proposals?
CDCAN: People can and should - even if they show up in person - send written letters to the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees.  CDCAN will be issuing another alert with more names
 
Senator Denise Ducheny, Chair
Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
 
Assemblymember John Laird, Chair
Assembly Budget Committee
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
 
You should also send copies to the budget subcommittee chairs:
Assemblymember Patty Berg, Chair
Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services
 
Senator Elaine Alquist, Chair
Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services
 
Q.: Will the Legislature take action on Monday (February 4)?
CDCAN: No.  Neither the Assembly or Senate has taken action yet on the Governor's budget cutting proposals.  However the presence of people and public testimony and comments are important in helping to determine what will happen in the coming weeks.
 
Q.: When will the Legislature take action on these proposed cuts?
CDCAN: Probably mid-February. Both houses (Assembly and Senate) will have to meet and vote and send a bill (or bills) to the Governor with some, all or different cuts or proposals that helps to resolve the State's budget crisis.  The Legislature will later - in March through early May, hold regular budget subcommittee hearings on the Governor's proposed State Budget for 2008-2009 (the state budget year begins July 1 and ends June 30). 
 
Q.: What else can I do? 
CDCAN: Don't panic - but do respond.  These proposed cuts are very serious - and some of the cuts, including Medi-Cal Optional Benefits, would take effect June 1, 2008 if approved by the Legislature.
 
If we believe that the basic foundation of rights of people with disabilities, mental health needs, seniors is that a life matters, than we need to be united in our opposition to ALL the reductions - whether it is a rate cut to the adoption assistance program and foster care programs that impact thousands of children with special needs and their families, or proposed cuts to senior programs, In-Home Supportive Services, regional centers, Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, mental health services, special education and more. 
 
Get others connected in your community on what is happening.  Write letters to the budget committees, and contact, visit your local legislators by yourself or with groups of people.  Participate or organize local organizing events and also CDCAN Townhall Telemeetings (see CDCAN website for dates and topics at www.cdcan.us)
CDCAN will be issuing sample letters and suggestions on that - and also will be providing free live advocacy trainings and hearings  in various areas of the state that people can access via toll free lines and the internet.  Watch for announcements. 
 
 
NOTE FROM MARTY OMOTO:
AS WE CONTINUE OUR WORK IN ADVOCACY IN THE COMING WEEKS AND FEB 4th
REMEMBERING ADAM MARSHALL WHO DIED, AGE 13 
As previously reported in the special commentary I wrote  - a reprint of "A Life That Mattered", Adam Marshall, who had just turned 13 on January 9th, and was the  beloved son of David and Karla Marshall, died unexpectedly in his sleep on January 23, 2008 Wednesday morning.  His parents and family are in devastated by the loss of Adam - their little boy.  He was buried on Whittier, California on Saturday, January 26th.
 
Adam had developmental disabilities who his father said was "an inspiration" and an "example that one life can send forth a ripple of hope that we all belong together as one...."
 
Many years ago, I remember David holding Adam on his lap and hugging him when he was 5 or 6 years old.  What a beautiful child he was then and as he grew older. 
If love can be seen and if love is ever magical - and it can be - then what I saw of David and his son then and over the years was love - and it was magical. Who would have thought that love and magical life could end so soon? 
Of course love never ends - and life, as I know from personal experience from the deaths of my sisters, transforms into powerful and enduring memories.  But one still misses the life. 
We will always miss Adam. 
 
Adam's life mattered - like countless others - and that will always mean something to us in our advocacy. 
 
Our advocacy - whether at February 4th budget hearing coming up or the budget hearings already held on IHSS and SSI/SSP, foster care, adoption assistance, special education, regional centers, Medi-Cal, mental health services, housing, transportations and other issues or on bills in policy committees - must always be first about the lives that matter.  That is what we fight for. Not a program.  Not a law. But for the people and lives that matter that laws, programs and services are meant to protect.
 
Besides his mother and father, he is survived by his sister, Corey, who is currently enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  Adam's grandmother - Karla Marshall's mother - had just passed away two days earlier - and the double losses have overwhelmed the family.
Please join the many friends of Adam in expressing our sympathy, prayers and support to his family. 
And let us also pay tribute to his memory, and the memories of so many others that have passed in recent months, including Julie Guzman, Bob Roberts, Jane Jackson, Mary Ann Jones, Jeannette Nishikawa, by being strong and united in our advocacy that will always remembers that their lives - and our lives matter.
 
For those who wish to send condolences:
David and Karla Marshall
600 Terrado Drive
Monrovia, CA 91016
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Santa Anita YMCA in Monrovia in order to establish a scholarship fund to benefit others, in Adam's name.  Adam's family is also setting up a memorial fund at Downey Savings in Arcadia. 
 
 
 
Please: Contributions Urgently Needed!
  Advocacy Without Borders 
Advocacy Without Borders: Connecting People With Disabilities, Mental Health Needs, Seniors, Traumatic Brain & other injuries, People with MS & other health needs, including People of color, different languages, cultures,  Families, Workers, Providers, & Organizations to Rights & Unified Action. This report - and the CDCAN townhalls, and other events and projects are for all of them and for promoting advocacy without borders toward unified action.  We are one community. 
To respond to this report reply to: Marty Omoto at martyomoto@rcip.com    CDCAN website:
www.cdcan.us

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MANY THANKS to Parents Helping Parents, UCP of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, Work Training, FSNC, Foothill Autism Alliance, Arc Contra Costa, Pause4Kids, Manteca CAPS, Training Toward Self Reliance, UCP, California NAELA, Californians for Disability Rights, Inc (CDR) including CDR chapters, CHANCE Inc, , Strategies To Empower People (STEP),  Alta California Regional Center, Harbor Regional Center, Tri-Counties Regional Center, Asian American parents groups, Resources for Independent Living and many other Independent Living Centers, several regional centers, People First chapters, IHSS workers, other self advocacy and family support groups, developmental center families, adoption assistance program families and children, and others across California