Manipulative and deceitful behavior by New York State Department of Health officials Mark Kissinger and David Hoffman will help you understand why the Center for Public Integrity recently gave New York a D-minus in a recent ranking of states and corruption.
I’ll get to the above referenced behavior in just a second. First, some background.
Governor Cuomo’s DOH seems determined to destroy the lives of thousands by ending the state’s Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver – established by the governor’s father, Mario Cuomo – and the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver by forcing waiver recipients into managed care.
Waivers provide services that both allow residents to remain in or return to the community as well as grow their independence as much as they can.
Now, Hoffman and Kissinger have been hosting a series of workshops they say are designed to make the transition run smoothly. With only a few exceptions, the DOH workshop membership largely made of those who, whether they’ll admit it on the record or not, are all for the DOH’s brutal transition plan.
That waiver recipients and their families and along with honest waiver providers have made it clear the waivers need to be protected has, so far, had little effect. That nearly all the witnesses at a an October 8 public hearing hosted by the Assembly Health Committee, Mental Health & Developmental Disability Committee, and Task Force on People with Disabilities warned the state’s plan would have catastrophic results, has not dissuaded the governor, or the DOH, or the many pawns in the DOH work group in the least.
Manipulation and deceit
I recently attended one of the DOH work group meetings. They are public meetings and members of the public, like me, can attend. When the public was asked to comment, some of us did. A couple of weeks ago I sent Kissinger an email asking him to please send me a listing of who was on the DOH Workgroup. He forwarded the request to Hoffman, and then, Hoffman emailed me the list.
To my surprise, I and other members of the public were listed as members of the work group! Wrong. I emailed Hoffman and asked him of the mistake, pointing out that you can’t list members of the public as being members of the work group because it’s not true. And, they did it without asking permission.
I figured Hoffman (the DOH) would recognize the mistake and correct it. Wrong again.
When Hoffman responded he wrote. “Everyone in attendance is welcome to participate in comments and questions (as you saw) and so are included in the listing.” In other words, if you are a member of the public, and during the public comment portion of the agenda, say something, we’re going to list you as a member of the work group and we are going to do it without your permission.
Subsequent emails to Hoffman and Kissinger asking them to stop this deceit have resulted in a response the DOH has honed to perfection. Silence.
Now that I think of it, the Center for Public Integrity was generous when it gave New York a D-minus. Hell, I think giving New York an F would be generous.