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AARP: NYS Budget Fights High Rx Costs, Protects Family Caregivers Under Paid Sick Leave

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AARP Deeply Concerned by Cuts to Medicaid-Funded Long-Term Care; Urges Revisiting in Near Future

ALBANY, N.Y. – AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel today released the following statement in response to passage of the final 2020-21 New York State Budget:

“The coronavirus pandemic underscores New Yorkers’ need to get potentially life-saving medicines at prices they can afford, and AARP applauds Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers for including an Rx Price Control Board and capping insulin co-pays in the new state budget.

“The Control Board represents a good first step toward holding drug makers accountable for price gouging and will start to address years of unaffordable increases in the list prices of prescription drugs, which manufacturers have set with little or no check.

“Capping insulin co-pays at $100 per 30-day supply will provide immediate help to many diabetics, who sometimes skip or ration their insulin because of its skyrocketing price.

“And we’re glad the Governor is moving forward with his proposal to explore safe importation of lower-cost prescription drugs.

“AARP is also pleased that the paid sick leave law included in the budget will ensure working family caregivers won’t lose their jobs or their pay to provide unpaid care to an older loved one.

“And AARP appreciates the Governor and state legislators for continuing $20 million for vital housing and legal counseling services for homeowners facing foreclosure and mortgage fraud – who are especially vulnerable amidst the financial stresses, uncertainties and continued demands during the coronavirus outbreak.

“However, AARP is deeply concerned by the cuts to long-term care services under Medicaid.

“While we recognize the fiscal challenges we all face, our population is rapidly aging and New Yorkers will need more long-term supports and services in the coming years.

“We need to slow demand for Medicaid-funded services. Additional support for family caregivers – 2.5 million of whom across New York provide unpaid care valued at $31 billion a year – would help do just that.

“In-home services for the elderly such as home-delivered meals, transportation to medical appointments and assistance with daily living activities support family caregivers in helping older New Yorkers age at home longer, as the vast majority want, rather than in mostly Medicaid-funded nursing homes.

“We look forward to revisiting these cuts in the near future.”

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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