Assemblywoman
Barbara Lifton

Working to improve your quality of life

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Dear Neighbor,

During the 2005 session, the Assembly accomplished a great deal and broke new ground to improve your quality of life.

From passing the first on-time budget in over two decades to ensuring that you have extra protections against telemarketers and fraudulent businesses, to providing easy access to the health care information you need when making medical decisions, I will work hard to make certain that your best interests are served.

Maintaining your safety, saving you money and ensuring you have the overall best health care available are always top priorities. While a lot was accomplished in 2005, there’s still more to be done, and I will continue working to improve the quality of life and reduce the cost of living for you and your loved ones.

Sincerely,
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Barbara Lifton
Member of Assembly



Prescription Drug Prices on the Web for Easy Comparison Shopping

Assemblywoman Lifton sponsored a new law (Ch. 293 of 2005) that requires drug retail price lists be posted on a single Website, making it more convenient to get the medicines you need at the best price.

To compare prices until the comprehensive statewide site is launched, visit the New York Attorney General’s Website, www.NYAGRx.org, where you’ll find prices for many pharmacies in the state.

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Working to Keep Energy Costs Down

Tips to save heating costs this winter

  • Service your heating system
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Add weather stripping around windows and doors
  • Install ceiling fans
  • Rearrange furniture to make sure vents and radiators are unobstructed
  • Install a tankless water heater
  • Use compact florescent light bulbs
  • Install thermo-pane windows
  • Insulate your ceilings and attic
  • Open drapes and blinds during daylight to take advantage of the sun’s warmth
  • Look for the "Energy Star" label on appliances

Natural gas and oil costs are expected to increase by 30 percent this winter, presenting families, businesses and school districts with serious financial challenges.

The Home Energy Assistance Program is available for renters and homeowners to assist in meeting home energy heating costs. There are income eligibility levels, depending on the number of persons in the household, and other housing requirements to participate. Assemblywoman Lifton is urging the federal government to immediately increase income eligibility requirements and expand funding for HEAP. For more information on HEAP, in Tompkins County call 274-5264, or in Cortland County call 753-5248.

Protecting Your Home’s Value

Assemblywoman Lifton supports the Home Equity Theft Prevention Act, which protects homeowners from losing their home’s equity (A.7667-A). The legislation protects homeowners from unscrupulous lenders by ensuring that all contracts are completed in easy-to-understand language clearly stating the seller’s rights for cancellation, and restricting businesses from making any misleading or manipulating statements about pending transactions. Violators face fines up to $25,000 and one year in jail.

To learn more about how to protect yourself from scam artists, contact the New York State Consumer Protection Board at (800) 697-1220 or visit online at www.consumer.state.ny.us.

Making it Easier to Stop Annoying Telemarketers

New York State established the Do Not Call Registry in 2001 so residents could sign up to stop unwanted sales calls. However, due to a loophole in the law, some telemarketers continued to interrupt meals and cause an annoyance. The Assembly helped close the loophole, ensuring telemarketers cannot rely on loosely-translated "established business relationships" to justify additional calls (Ch. 214 of 2005).

To sign up for the Do Not Call Registry, log onto www.donotcall.gov or call (888)-382-1222.

Non-Driver Photo IDs Available

New York residents 62 years of age or older who do not drive can obtain an official Department of Motor Vehicles identification card at a reduced price of just $11.50.

NY State To make the identification affordable for more seniors, Assemblywoman Lifton supports legislation (A.5790) that would allow individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits to obtain the ID free-of-charge.

To apply, visit www.nydmv.state.ny.us or call (800) 225-5368.


Health Care News

Eliminate the Worry of Long-Term Care
The New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care brings private insurance providers and Medicaid together to assist individuals in preparing for needing a nursing home or other long-term health care. If seniors’ income qualifies them while on Medicaid and the duration of the care exceeds their private insurance coverage, their assets will be protected and they will be able to maintain their financial independence. More information can be found at www.ins.state.ny.us or by calling (800) 342-3736.

Have Trusted Family or Friends Make Decisions on Your Medical Treatment
The New York Health Care Proxy allows you to select a trusted adult family member or friend to make medical decisions in the event that you are unable to do so, including whether to provide life-sustaining treatment. By selecting a Health Care Agent, you determine how much authority he or she has over your medical decisions. Information about living wills and health care proxy forms are available by calling my office.

Get the Info You Need When Seriously Ill
If you or a family member are diagnosed with a serious illness, learn your health care rights and how to make sure your insurance coverage is adequate by calling the New York State Insurance Department at (866) 694-6743 or logging on to www.insurancehelpny.com.


Assemblywoman Lifton Assemblywoman
Barbara Lifton
106 East Court Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 277-8030


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