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[IP] Fwd: CALL TO ACTION ON FUNDING CRISIS!



For all SSI/Medicaid recipients and seniors in CALIFORNIA

Begin forwarded message:

> This contains very important information on proposed budget cuts that 
> will significantly impact Medi-Cal recipients, SSI recipients, DDS 
> consumers and those who receive County MH services.  Please act 
> however you feel is most appropriate- letters, phone calls, chaining 
> yourself naked to the Capitol steps... whatever!
>
> -Janet
>
>
> CA UCP/CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY ADVOCACY NETWORK
> ACTION ALERT #06-2003
> January 13, 2003 - Monday morning
> CALL TO ACTION ON FUNDING CRISIS!
> WHY YOU SHOULD ACT - AND WHAT YOU CAN DO!
>
> WHO SHOULD ACT AND RESPOND TO THIS CALL TO ACTION?
> * People with developmental (and other disabilities) people with 
> cognitive
> disabilities and their families and providers, advocates
> * People with mental health needs and their families, providers, 
> advocates
> * People with low incomes, providers and advocates
> * People who are Medi-Cal recipients, seniors, their families, 
> providers, direct
> care staff, advocates, and other organizations
>
> WHAT IS BEING LOST, CUT, REDUCED AND ELIMINATED
> Just SOME of what is being lost, cut, reduced or eliminated include 
> the following (see UCP Capitol Update for more details). All of these 
> potential and actual cuts impact the people who should respond to this 
> call to action (see above):
> * RIGHTS OF CALIFORNIANS BEING THREATENED
> - The "civil rights" act for people with developmental disabilities 
> and their families - the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services 
> Act is under serious attack, with proposals from the Governor that 
> would narrow eligibility, significantly reduce or delay services and 
> programs, or outright eliminate them entirely.
> - Proposed cuts and funding crisis are devastating community-based 
> services and supports that many advocates say seriously undermine 
> continued implementation of the 1999 US Supreme Court Olmstead 
> Decision, and other federal law including the Americans with 
> Disabilities Act.
> * MEDI-CAL
> - Massive, massive cuts to Medi-Cal to narrow eligibility and cut 
> useage.
> - Proposed cut of $302 million by the elimination of 18 of 34 
> critically needed benefits for adults - especially for those with 
> developmental or other disabilities, that include medical supplies, 
> equipment, adult dental care, podiatry, psychology, independent 
> rehabilitation centers, occupational therapy, non-emergency medical 
> transportation, optician/optical lab services, hospice, durable 
> medical equipment, optometry, prosthetics, speech/audiology services, 
> physical therapy and more (referred to as 'optional benefits' by the 
> federal government - meaning it is optional for the states to provide 
> these benefits - not that the benefit is not critically needed).
> - Huge Medi-Cal provider rate reductions totaling 15% (cut of nearly 
> $665 million)that will likely result in providers leaving the program 
> - creating a significant problem of access to health services by 
> people with developmental and other disabilities, seniors and people 
> with low incomes, and people with mental health needs.
> * COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES/SUPPORTS FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL 
> DISABILITIES
> - Proposed cut of $100 million cut to regional center purchase of 
> service budget that funds community-based services and supports for 
> over 180,000 people with developmental disabilities in California that 
> will result in significant reductions or outright elimination of 
> community-based services, programs and providers across the state.
> - Governor's proposed $31.6 million cut (for families) to regional 
> center purchase of services for many many families due to co-payments 
> that would require families with incomes at over 200% of the federal 
> poverty level, with children with developmental disabilities between 
> ages of 3 and 17 years, to share the cost of services. The Department 
> of Developmental Services (DDS) estimates that a two-parent family 
> earning an income of $50,000 annually and having two children between 
> ages of 3-17 and one of them with developmental disabilities, would 
> pay 100% of the costs of regional center services purchased services 
> up to $5,000 (the average purchased service costs in 2001-02 was 
> $3,750 according to DDS). However the other impact is that largely 
> lower and middle income families will be forced to pay potentially 
> thousands of more dollars for the very community-based supports, 
> programs and services that, at the same time, are also being reduced, 
> cut or eliminated by the funding crisis and the Governor's budget 
> proposals.  Note: the State sees the $31 million as "revenue" and not 
> a cut.
> - Huge cuts to more community-based services, currently funded through 
> the Department of Rehabilitation Habilitation Services Programs 
> (including work activity programs, supported employment programs) that 
> the Governor is proposing to take effect THIS year (by April), 
> including suspension of any rate increases for work activity programs 
> that, by law, were scheduled to take effect this year, including a cut 
> of $2.1 million to be effective in April this year - and another $8.8 
> million to be cut in 2003-2004 (reflecting 5% reduction in rates paid 
> to community-based providers).
> - Potential and actual reductions and outright elimination of adult 
> education programs for people with developmental disabilities across 
> the state.
> * ELIGIBILITY BEING NARROWED
> - $2.1 million proposed cut to regional center purchase of services 
> due to proposed changes that will have impact of narrowing eligibility 
> for community-based services for people with developmental 
> disabilities with a the result that beginning July 1, 2003 through 
> June 30, 2004, about 405 persons new to the system, will be deemed not 
> eligible for services, who, under the current standards, would have 
> been eligible. That number is likely to grow each year.
> - Eligibility is also being narrowed in other areas, including 
> Medi-Cal, compounding the crisis for the same population of people 
> with developmental and other disabilities and seniors.
> * SSI/SSP
> - Proposed cuts by the Governor to Supplemental Security Income/State 
> Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) including suspension of state cost of 
> living increases scheduled for this year, that will roll back payments 
> to levels before January 2000.
> * SENIOR PROGRAMS
> - Huge cuts proposed by the Governor of over $5.1 million to senior 
> services and programs, including senior nutrition program, and cuts to 
> adult day care programs.
> * MENTAL HEALTH
> - Big cuts and reductions proposed by the Governor, including 
> elimination of the early mental health services program (cut of $15 
> million); $46 million cut to mental health managed care (reflecting 
> 10% rate reduction); and moving Integrated Services for Homes and 
> Children's System of Care programs to counties, while getting the 
> promise this year of dedicated funding for it at the same time the 
> Governor proposes to cut other funding going to counties.
> * ALL COMMUNITY BASED PROVIDER COSTS CONTINUE TO RISE
> - Workers Compensation costs - this crisis continues with no immediate 
> relief from the state, with premiums doubling, even tripling, costing 
> community-based providers  everywhere in the state hundreds of 
> thousands of more desperately needed dollars that the state is 
> refusing to reimburse  - pushing hundreds of community based providers 
> to the brink of closure.
> * THERE IS MUCH MUCH MORE BEING LOST....
>
> WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO?
> In ALL instances below, we are all working to change the way we 
> advocate by linking and coordinating actions and our messages 
> statewide.
> * ADVOCACY IN SACRAMENTO
> - Attend upcoming Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human 
> Services hearings THIS week on January 15 and possibly Jan 16 in 
> Sacramento (see UCP/California Community Advocacy Network Alerts for 
> details. If you have not received it, please email to Marty Omoto at 
> the email address below).
> - Attend upcoming regular budget hearings beginning in March through 
> May.
> - Come up to the State Capitol and join teams of other people with 
> disabilities from across the state, for planned coordinated weekly 
> office visits to key legislators and other state officials beginning 
> this month through the end of the year. These visits will be twice a 
> week - and coordinated with the letter campaigns, rallies, related 
> hearings, and visits or meetings that occur in legislator's district 
> offices with different groups of people each time.
> * ADVOCACY AT HOME - IN YOUR COMMUNITY
> - Help organize a community meeting and rallies to help train, 
> coordinate, educate and share strategy on these issues (see below for 
> organizing and mobilizing), including outreach to people who never 
> before have been involved (especially minority communities). This 
> includes helping with or actually participating on a state legislative 
> district team (called "10/10 legislative team" - see below)
> - Join people within your legislative district (this will be 
> coordinated) to visit and talk with your local legislator in his or 
> her district office. These visits will be on-going and coordinated 
> with visits in Sacramento, the letter campaigns, hearings and other 
> events.
> - Write letters (see below)
> - Write letters to the editor to your local paper (see letter writing 
> regarding focus on the same message)
> - Contact your local news station and other media to highlight our 
> targeted issues and message.
> - Participate in planned statewide (to be announced) video conference 
> to update people on strategy and issues regarding the funding crisis.
> - Volunteer to work in your legislator's district office.
> - Make phone calls (which are coordinated with other actions) as 
> needed to certain legislators and other state officials.
> * LETTER WRITING
> - Write letters to policy makers at the RIGHT time, to the RIGHT 
> people with the SAME message (the list of WHO and WHERE  you should 
> send letters changes depending on the issue, the time and which 
> committee or house or person is looking at the issue. See latest 
> UCP/California Community Advocacy Network Alerts for current 
> information regarding this)
> - Write letters pushing the same message as everyone else in the State.
> - See latest UCP/California Community Action Network Alerts for latest 
> person(s) to write to, addresses and sample letters and other 
> suggestions.
> * ORGANIZE! MOBILIZE YOUR COMMUNITY!
> - As previously announced a new non-partisan permanent statewide 
> effort to organize people with disabilities, families, advocates, 
> direct care workers and  providers, and others, called the "California 
> Community Advocacy Network" continues.
> - This effort includes establishing permanent teams of volunteers in 
> every legislative district (referred to as a 10/10 legislative team 
> made up of 10 individuals who reside in that legislative district and 
> 10 organizations or groups that provide services or programs in that 
> legislative district).
> - Several organizing meetings in communities across the state have 
> been held and many more are planned.
> - The network is an effort to link all groups (statewide, local - 
> large or small) and individuals with coordinated action and message on 
> a statewide and local basis to maximize the message, the voices and 
> every resource.
> The network includes links to existing self advocacy, leadership 
> training and development and also new training and development in 
> those areas.
> - The network also includes links and coordination to development of 
> solutions to help solve the funding crisis on a short and long term 
> basis - and research to help provide critically needed information and 
> data.
> - If you are interested in participating or helping with a community 
> meeting on the
> funding crisis (and to mobilize your community to take next steps) 
> please
> contact:  email @ redacted
> * SAVE THE DATE FOR STATEWIDE MEETING IN SACRAMENTO
> - Statewide advocacy organizing strategy meeting will be held in 
> Sacramento soon possibly later this week or next week. In addition, a 
> second part of the meeting will focus on the impact of staggering 
> workers compensation costs to community providers and what can be 
> done. Watch for special UCP/CA COMMUNITY ADVOCACY NETWORK ACTION ALERT 
> on this meeting! [note: this replaces meetings set for 1/9]. Also, a 
> follow-up meeting with a march on the Capitol followed by a rally 
> there is being planned for late February or March.
> * MAKE THIS ISSUE IS A CIVIL RIGHTS AND FUNDING A PRIORITY FOR YOU AND 
> YOUR
> ORGANIZATION!
> - If you have not already done so, you should put this funding crisis 
> (and for people with developmental disabilities and their families, it 
> is also a critical civil rights issue with the Lanterman Developmental 
> Disabilities Services Act at stake) at the very, very top of your 
> organization or group's agenda.
> - If you are person with other disabilities or mental health needs, or 
> a senior (or an advocate or an organization providing services and 
> supports) you should also place the funding crisis at the top of your 
> agendas.
> - Devastation of community-based services and supports has potential 
> impact on the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, the 
> Rehabilitation Act, etc., and how the US Supreme Court 1999 Olmstead 
> Decision implementation in California proceeds.
>
> WHAT CAN I DO AND WHEN?
> * The time is NOW! We are looking at a long term, consistent, 
> coordinated statewide advocacy effort based in every legislative 
> district!
> * Check out the latest UCP/California Community Advocacy Network 
> Action Alerts that are specific to a hearing (such as the hearings 
> this week in Sacramento) or to particular letter writing effort.  If 
> you belong to an existing organization - check with them and get them 
> to coordinate actions with others in the state.


AOL-wyldceltic1

Jenny Sutherland
http://www.wyldcelt.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mac_X/
http://groups.yahoo.com/macusersforum/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Illustrator_X/
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