Net-Armada Needed for MTA 1/2-fare for Medicaid recipients

rosaphil (rugosa@interport.net)
Sat, 20 Mar 1999 16:53:37 -0500 (EST)


please, please, if you, my friends, do just one thing this season, please
print out the below message and send it off to legislatures and pataki
(governor of nys) so that those of us with medicaid-only (and not
medicare) can get 1/2-fare metrocards so we can afford to go to our
various day programs and clubhouses and also to ses our pshrinks and get
our meds if we so choose etc.

this is very important.

remember, to your local state assembleyman and to Governor Pataki 
c/o The State CApitol
Albany, New York

thanks.



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Please Support the "MTA Half Fare Fairness" Bills
(Assembly Bill 01807 and Senate Bill 02505)

Make the MTA's Half Fare Program Fair
For S.S.I. Recipients with Major Mental Illness

Memo To:	The Honorable Members of the New York State Legislature

From:	The MTA Half Fare Fairness Coalition

We respectfully seek your support for the "MTA Half Fare Fairness Bills.

These Bills have bi-partisan support in the Assembly and Senate, and are
universally supported by a coalition of more than 220,000 mental health
consumers, family members and mental health provider groups. 

During the last 24 months, the MTA presided over a multi-billion re-
engineering of its bus and subway system.  It was unprecedented, and we
applaud that effort.

Yet, the MTA has done nothing to eliminate the cruel discrimination that
prevents S.S.I. recipients with major mental illness from gaining access to
affordable transportation in New York City.

S.S.I./Medicaid recipients, with major mental illness, Pay Full Fare.
S.S.D./Medicare recipients, with identical mental illnesses, Pay Half Fare.
Same Disability. . .Different Treatment by the MTA.

Passing the "Half Fare Fairness" Bills will eliminate this unfair treatment.
It will ensure that people with psychiatric disabilities have the necessary
carfare to travel to, and attend, State sponsored programs.
 
The NY Human Rights Law (N.Y. Exec. Law, Section 296(2)(a)) does not permit
the MTA to discriminate by type of disability - - Yet it does.

The Human Rights Law does not permit the MTA to discriminate by mental
condition - - Yet it does.

The Human Rights Law does not permit the MTA to run a Half Fare Program and
advertise proudly that it is designed for "all people with disabilities", and
then arbitrarily exclude some - - Yet it does.

Fortunately, in other parts of the State, this unfair treatment has been
recognized and corrected.

Extending the Half Fare will not cause administrative difficulties for the
MTA.

Existing procedures and mechanisms are in place at the MTA to qualify S.S.I.
recipients who suffer from major mental illness.  Any cost to implement this
change will be repaid many times over in terms of personal growth,
rehabilitation, and tax payments made by S.S.I. recipients with major mental
illness who become fully integrated into society.

We hope we can count on your support, as we believe this public policy
initiative will be an important component in our community-based mental health
system.

Will you also please consider becoming a co-sponsor of this important
legislation.

We hope that, by now, you have received a copy of our replica Half Fare
Fairness MetroCards.  If you would like additional ones, please do not
hesitate to call us.

Thank you for your consideration.

For The Half Fare Fairness Coalition

By:__________________