Action Alert: Avert a COBRA Calamity!
$4 Million Rate Increase for COBRA Is Dead -- Contact Gottfried to Make Sure an Increase Occurs
March 21, 2008
Two weeks ago, staffers for Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, chair of the Assembly Health Committee, told AIDS advocates that a 15 percent rate increase for COBRA programs would likely be in the Assembly's one-house bill. That was smart policy: COBRA programs, which provide crucial psychosocial case management for low-income people living with AIDS and HIV, haven't seen a rate increase this decade, and most COBRA programs are now in deficit.
Last week, Gottfried himself assured advocates that the rate increase was still on the table and that he intended to raise the issue in the Budget Conference at the Health Table. But more recently, Gottfried staffers said that the only help COBRA could expect to receive is a three percent cost-of living adjustment, and even that increase is not highly likely given changing revenue forecasts. Meanwhile, the budget will probably give hospitals, nursing homes and other large health care industry players bloated trend factor increases, while small community-based organizations are struggling!
That's not good enough.
Contact Gottfried's office at 518-455-4941, and tell him that we are counting on him as one of our strongest champions to seriously fight for a meaningful COBRA rate increase this year. New York's budget crisis isn't going to be solved by starving HIV/AIDS community-based organizations.
This article was provided by Housing Works. It is a part of the publication Housing Works AIDS Issues Update. Visit Housing Works' website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.