Guest post by Max Hadler, Senior Health Policy Manager at the New York Immigration Coalition.
Immigrant New Yorkers are under relentless attack from the anti-immigrant forces that wield the levers of control in Washington, DC. In this environment, it falls on New York State to devise solutions to the crisis. Access to health care represents a key element of immigrant inclusion and protection that state and local governments must address. In acknowledgment of the ongoing health access disadvantages that immigrants face and the acute needs related to the current sociopolitical dynamic, the New York State Assembly has called a public hearing on immigrant health for 10am on December 13. Public testimony is strongly encouraged from anyone with a stake in immigrant health access. The hearing will be held at 250 Broadway, New York, NY. This is the official Hearing Notice.
The hearing has been called by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried and cosponsored by New Americans Task Force Chair Michaelle Solages and Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force Chair Marcos Crespo. Coverage 4 All, a campaign of Health Care For All New York led by the New York Immigration Coalition and Make the Road New York, has been instrumental in advocating for the hearing. The campaign’s goal is to expand insurance eligibility to all New Yorkers to reduce disparities in coverage (noncitizens are five times more likely than citizens to be uninsured), but coverage is just one of the many current threats to immigrant health access:
- Persistent restrictions on health coverage based on immigration status, exacerbated by the Trump administration’s cancellation of many forms of immigration relief
- Pervasive fear of using health care services because of the dramatic increase in immigration enforcement and threats against immigrant communities
- Acute behavioral health care needs layered on a system that already cannot meet the demand for culturally and linguistically responsive behavioral health services
- Major cuts to uncompensated care funding that threaten the financial sustainability of safety-net health care systems
- Language access laws that lack sufficient monitoring and enforcement mechanisms
We strongly encourage testimony from anyone with a stake in immigrant health access – directly affected community members, concerned citizens, immigrant rights advocates, health care consumer advocates, health care providers, social services providers, legal services providers, local and state health officials, and faith communities, to name a few. This hearing is an unprecedented chance to voice concerns to the New York State Assembly, and to propose solutions the state can undertake to improve immigrant health access. Do not miss this opportunity!
NOTE: You must receive an invitation to testify. If you would like an invitation, please e-mail Claudia Calhoon of the New York Immigration Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unable to attend the hearing in person, you are strongly encouraged to submit written testimony (the email for written submissions is included in the official Hearing Notice).