Advocacy Updates
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Explained
Thursday, July 19, 2012 12:00 AM


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

There is an incredible amount of information floating around regarding the Health Care ruling passed down by the Supreme Court in June 2012. We compiled the best resources we had found in to a single resource for quick and easy answers to questions.

The official name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but it will be hereafter referred to as the ACA. The bill was signed in to law on March 23, 2010, and is halfway through its four-year “roll out” period. The roll out period is a comprehensive four-year schedule of when certain aspects of the bill are put in to effect. You can view this timeline at www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline. The ACA contains nine titles (or chapters), each addressing a major area of reform:

  1. Quality, Affordable Care for All Americans
  2. The Role of Public Programs
  3. Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Health Care
  4. Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health
  5. Health Care Workforce
  6. Transparency and Program Integrity
  7. Improving Access to Innovative Medical Therapies
  8. Community Living Assistance Services and Supports
  9. Revenue Provisions

To review a synopsis and key points of one of these titles, you can download a PDF summary or review key points regarding Rights and Procedures, Employers, Over Age 65, Insurance Choices and Concerns at www.healthcare.gov/law/features. Alternately, the full text of the law is available at housedocs.house.gov.

Most recently, the law was brought before the Supreme Court in order to determine whether or not it was constitutional. In a ruling at the end of June, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the law was constitutional, that the financial penalty on Americans that did not have health insurance should be considered a tax, and that a tax is constitutional.  The only portion of the law not upheld by the Supreme Court is with regard to Medicaid and Medicare; the court ruled that the expansion of both of those programs is optional on a state-by-state basis. This means that states can or cannot implement them as they see fit. Comprehensive reporting about the rulings can be found online at nytimes.com and wsj.com.

The ACA will mean completely different for every business and for every person. To look into how it will impact you personally or in the workplace, you can refer to this online tool, which is broken down by demographic.

Whether this is a positive or negative policy is dependent entirely on who you ask. The Wall Street Journal published a feature about two entrepreneurs making the case for an opposite side. The impact will be determined entirely by a multitude of factors, including but not limited to age, state of residence, and income.

Lastly, a large part of understanding the policy is understanding the history behind it. The independent investigative journalism website, ProPublica, has compiled a reading list of relevant articles and the links to read them. They also designed a very informative flow chart, mapping the answers to the most common questions. 

 
NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Funding Restored
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 05:16 PM

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

 

This year Christmas arrived in June! Last week, despite facing billions of dollars in spending cuts, Mayor Bloomberg, First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, and the City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Christine Quinn, Finance Chair Domenic Recchia, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair of the Committee on Libraries, Cultural Affairs, and International Intergroup Relations, and Commissioner Kate Levin, secured a $48 million restoration of the Mayor's proposed $48.489 million cut to the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

Here is the information we have as of this moment:

DCA FUNDING LEVELS

FY11 Budget: $149.85 Million
FY12 Proposed Budget (with cut): $100.56 Million
FY12 Actual Budget (with restorations): $152.45 Million

BREAKDOWN OF CITY COUNCIL RESTORATIONS

Total: $35.3 Million
Programs: $9 Million
Cultural Institution Groups (CIGs): $20.5 Million
DCA Coalition of Theatres of Color: $700 Thousand
Cultural After School Adventure (CASA): $5.1 Million

If you would like to check on member items for your organization, please click here to review the document. It is in alphabetical order, but in segments, so make sure to read through the whole document.

Please send thank you notes to:

Your City Council Member (where you live and where you work)
To find out who your Council Member is, please click here.

Speaker Christine Quinn
224 West 30th St (Suite 1206)
New York, NY 10001

City Council Finance Committee Chair Domenic Recchia
445 Neptune Avenue
Community Room 2C
Brooklyn, NY 11224

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair of the NY City Council Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations
47-01 Queens Boulevard
Suite 205
Sunnyside, NY 11104

 

The Department of Cultural Affairs is planning on contacting each grantee about the status of their funding. For this reason, we suggest that you refrain from sending any thank you notes to DCLA until you have heard from them directly.

Given the difficult choices the Mayor and the City Council had to make with respect to the budget, this is a tremendous achievement for the arts, and we should show our gratitude. I want to thank all of you who took the time to make calls, write letters, visit your Council Members, and testify on behalf of these cuts. What a great way to begin the fiscal year!

 
New York City FY12 Budget Update
Wednesday, June 08, 2011 04:46 PM

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

 

Dear Members,

Please read the budget update below from our government relations consultants Claudia Wagner and Adam Rich.

While the message below gives "hope" that the City Council will endeavor to restore funding to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), we should not take this for granted. Since the Council is trying to sign a deal with the Mayor by 6/14 (which could change) we need your help ASAP.


STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO HELP US SECURE DCLA RESTORATION

  1. If you have a show running please download this letter and insert it in your programs tonight and/or tomorrow night. Pre-show curtain speeches urging audience members to participate, and/or assigning a staff member or volunteer to stand in the lobby to collect and distribute letters will increase your response rate.

  2. If you do not have a show running, please get your staff, and anyone else you can to sign the letter TODAY. Please note, only NYC Residents should sign the letter.

 

MAIL ALL OF THE LETTERS IMMEDIATELY TO:

Honorable Christine Quinn, Speaker
New York City Council
250 Broadway, Suite 1856
New York, NY 10007

These letters will make a powerful impact and our voices will be heard!

 

 


Thank you!

Ginny Louloudes
Executive Director, A.R.T./New York

NEW YORK CITY FY12 BUDGET UPDATE

From government relations consultants Claudia Wagner & Adam Rich

After more than three weeks of testimony from agencies and the public, the New York City Council concluded its hearings on the CFY12 Executive Budget last night (June 6, 2011). Final details will now be hammered out in negotiations between the Administration and the Council, and the Council has until June 30 to vote on a final CFY12 Budget (July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012).

Though the Administration, the Council, and the Independent Budget office have slightly varying assessments of the City's fiscal condition, there is general agreement that revenues are starting to recover. However, the City will struggle this year to replace sharp losses of federal and state funds to key programs. Another perennial concern are "uncontrollable" costs: For example, in CFY12, employer contributions to the City pension system will increase by 20 percent (about $1.4 billion) over last year's level. Additionally, while the Mayor has presented a budget that is in balance for CFY12, the City is projecting a CFY13 budget gap of more than $3 billion.

In the last few months, the Council has identified several of the Mayor's proposed cuts it would like to restore, including proposed teacher layoffs, elimination of day care slots, firehouse closures, and cuts to the libraries and cultural organizations. The key questions in the coming days will be: how much money the City Council will have to distribute, how much it will dedicate to these priorities, and how much will be left over for other restorations and spending. The general consensus among the Council Members is that there will less "discretionary" funds for CFY12 than was available for CFY11.

The Capital budget received less focus during the Council hearings, and it is unclear how much new Capital funding, if any, will be available.

The City Council's Budget Negotiating Team (BNT) and the various borough delegations will start meeting regularly now to finalize Council spending priorities.

We will keep you apprised of developments.

 
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