A new Public Policy and Education Fund (PPEF) “Race Matters” report looks at five major policy areas in the Executive Budget: health care, education, higher education, human services, and criminal and juvenile justice and determines that certain budget cuts will exacerbate racial and ethnic inequality in the state.
The Health Snapshot: The Executive Budget also fails to include steps to ensure that the $847 million in “charity care” funds will actually be used to provide care for the uninsured. The report also states that the three quarters of a billion dollars in proposed health cut cuts to institutions like hospitals, nursing homes, home care and other health care institutions do not protect the health care safety net. However, on a positive note the budget did take steps to simplify enrollment in public insurance programs and proposes to reinstitute the right of the State Insurance Department to regulate health insurance premium rates. (Unfortunately, the State Senate did not endorse “prior approval” in its budget resolution: see the March 22nd entry on this blog entitled: “NY Senate Budget Resolution Omits Prior Approval”).
The report offers revenue alternatives that prevent further harm to people of color.
Update! An update to the Race Matters report on health care by PPEF shows that the Assembly and Senate didn’t do much better than the Executive Budget to address disparities.” Read it here.