State Budget Action Needed!
Posted March, 15 2019 by Amanda Dunker
In 2019 half of New Yorkers said they could not afford basic care like prescriptions or recommended tests. New Yorkers told us they are taking drastic steps to get health care, like cutting their pills in half or using up all of their savings. Yet the budget does almost nothing to expand health coverage or make health care more affordable!
There is still time for New Yorkers to demand budget action from state leaders – but not much! See below for action steps on three priority issues you can take over the next few days and for contact information.
Community Health Advocates (CHA)
CHA helps New Yorkers fight back when insurance companies deny care or send inappropriate bills. It has provided free help to uninsured and insured New Yorkers, no matter what type of coverage they have, since 2010 and in that time has saved consumers over $35 million. Call your New York Assemblymember and Senator and say:
- CHA deserves to be fully funded at $6.5 million.
- New Yorkers deserve independent consumer assistance programs like CHA. The Assembly’s language establishing this program in state law MUST stay in the final budget.
Fair Hospital Funding
The budget preserves a status quo in which funding meant for hospitals that help low-income New Yorkers is given to hospitals that neither provide that care nor struggle financially. More information is available here. Call your New York Assemblymember and Senator and say:
- End the transition collar that starves and destabilizes hospitals that take care of low-income and Medicaid-insured patients. By continuing the collar, the Assembly protects hospitals from losing charity care money whether or not they provide charity care – this language must be removed from the final budget!
- A6677 was created by community hospitals and advocates and would fix remaining inequities in the distribution of charity care funds. This bill should be passed so that our true safety net hospitals get the support they deserve and so state resources are not wasted on profitable hospitals that don’t serve low-income New Yorkers.
A5974/S3900 would allow all low-income New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, enroll in the Essential Plan. Over 200,000 New Yorkers would be able to get health coverage if this bill passed.
- Tell your Senator that you support expanding the Essential Plan to all New Yorkers and ask them to co-sponsor S3900. You can see who has already done so here. Don’t forget to thank those who have done the right thing already! You can also call members of the Senate Health Committee and say that you want them to move on the bill as soon as possible.
- Tell your Assemblymember that you support expanding the Essential Plan to all New Yorkers and ask them to co-sponsor A5974. Current co-sponsors are listed here. You could also call members of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and say that you want them to move on the bill as soon as possible.
- If you represent an organization you can submit a memo of support to the Senate Health Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. A template and contact info are available here.
A3316/S1809 would preserve Medicaid eligibility for immigrants threatened with the loss of Temporary Protected Status. People who lose TPS will lose their ability to work or enroll in Medicaid. New York should give them a health care safety net.
- Tell your Senator that you support S1809 because you want to protect TPS holders from losing health coverage, and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. You can see the current co-sponsors here. You can also tell members of the Senate Health Committee that you support S1809 and want to see the bill taken up as soon as possible.
- Tell your Assemblymember that you support A3316 and ask if they are willing to co-sponsor. You can see the current list of co-sponsors here. You can also tell members of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee that you support A3316 and want to see the bills taken up as soon as possible.
- If you represent an organization you can submit a memo of support to the Senate Health Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee – click here for a template and contact information.
Who to Contact
- Hon. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Majority Leader: 518-455-2585.
- Hon. Gustavo Rivera, Chair, Committee on Health: 518-455-3395
- Find your Senator here.
- Health Committee members listed here.