And Crash Goes The System
NY — 06/5/14
shortfall? If that was the only problem
Clinton County faces with its public bus service. The Big Picture suggests a potential system
failure far greater than just one local program.
Clinton County Public Transportation (CCPT) was hit with a funding shortfall
from New York State and also a drop in ridership, meaning less money coming in
for the service. (Previous blog article:
“Shortfall Means Rough Ride For County Bus Service”)
there's more to the story. Like most
local agencies across the nation CCPT depends upon on budgetary assistance from
higher up, state and federal sources. To
receive this money there are strings attached, rules and laws to be followed to
maintain eligibility, such as compliance to the Americans with Disabilities Act
As an activist
for disabled citizens Debra Buell has been raising the issue of CCPT being ADA
non-compliant for years. In a
Press-Republican article published on 1/6/13 — "Noncompliance puts funding
at risk"  — she explained at a public meeting that agencies must
provide equal access to all citizens, including the disabled.
has been vocal regarding the problems faced by disabled Clinton
County citizens including the lack of adequate transportation. While the county has added
another vehicle to its paratransit bus service, Debra says the service is still
underserving the disabled community overall.
the fixed route buses the paratransit vehicles provide door to door services
and the driver can assist any riders who need help. Also, the fixed route buses can only
accommodate one wheelchair at a time and that spot can't be reserved.
problem with the parantransit service, says Debra, is that too many Medicaid
enrollees are being booked for medical appointments while there are other
transportation options for them. This
means that disabled citizens who want to commute to a job, attend classes, or
go shopping find themselves being excluded.
Planning Technician James Bosley has stated the bus program is working on the
ADA compliance issue but it takes time to effect change.
it usually costs more to fix problems when something is broken right out of the
gate. If ADA non-compliance becomes a
prominent issue then changes will have to be made, maybe costly ones. If they can’t be made funds could be cut.
non-compliance there is the bigger picture of fraud and waste: the Federal
Government is looking into how Medicaid dollars are being spent in New York
State. According to a report issued by
the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform —
"Billions of Federal Tax Dollars Misspent on New York’s Medicaid
Program"  — the authors state:
"As Table 1 shows, New York’s per resident Medicaid spending is
nearly double that of Pennsylvania and more than double that of California and
the entire country." (Page 7)
report's Executive Summary this point is made on page 4:
Medicaid in New York faces several significant challenges. For one, many
powerful special interest groups in New York benefit from the State’s large
Medicaid expenditures and lobby strongly against changes that would reform the
State’s program. Another challenge is the long-standing New York practice of
increasing Medicaid as a way to leverage extra Federal money into the
summary also refers to "waste, fraud, and abuse within New York’s Medicaid
translated: The Powers That Be are gaming and milking the system which has
become a huge gravy train. (Now if
you're looking for the real welfare cheats...)
probes  and other ongoing investigations  targeting fraud at the higher
levels that could quickly thin out that gravy for all sorts of services,
including those at the lower levels like CCPT.
 "Report finds $60.8 million in
fraudulent New York Medicaid reimbursements" —