Support Immigrants Access to Care – Tonight!

Late Saturday night, the Department of Homeland Security released a draft of new “public charge” rules. If the rules were implemented, it could mean that immigrants who use services like Medicaid or SNAP will jeopardize their ability to stay in this country and become naturalized citizens.

This rule has not yet gone into effect, and it would not be retroactive – there is no need for immigrants who currently rely on these programs to disenroll. You can read a summary of the proposed changes here.

Everyone should be able to access food and medical care for themselves and their families. This proposal is already causing fear and confusion. Families are wondering if they have to choose between meeting their basic needs now and being split apart later. It is cruel and immoral. You can help in a few different ways:

  • Only share accurate information from trusted sources like the New York Immigration Coalition or Make the Road New York or the National Immigrant Law Center and the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition nationally. Look for the hashtag #ProtectFamilies to find information.
  • Look out for opportunities to submit comments – once the rule is formally posted there will be 60 days to tell the Administration in writing just how wrong this proposal is. HCFANY and others will share instructions and templates as they are written.
  • Come out tonight to show your support for immigrants and to say no to this attack on them. We’ll add more events as we come across them.
    • New York City: There is a rally today Sept. 24 at 5:30 at the corner of Orchard and Delancey Streets, outside the Tenement Museum.

Earlier this month, we covered a new report on hospital financial assistance released by the Community Service Society.  This report has been making waves since its release, so anyone who is interested in learning more on the topic now has a few more options to do so.

Elisabeth Benjamin, one of the report’s authors, recently appeared on Democracy Now! with one of the patient’s profiled in the New York Times article and Jessica Curtis of Community Catalyst to explain the issue a bit more.  You can check out the video above. 

Also, in case you were wondering if there had been any response from the hospitals, Ken Raske – President of the Greater NY Hospital Association – did post a letter to the editor to the NY Times in response to this report. While he doesn’t challenge the contents of the report, he does point out that, financial aid flaws aside, hospitals are an important safety net for the uninsured and many continue to lose money.   Click here to read Ken’s letter.

Jessica Curtis also covered the issue on Health Policy Hub, the Community Catalyst blog.  Click here to read Jessica’s blog post.

Lastly, the story was picked up by Modern Healthcare, which you can read by clicking here.



PBS Newshour had a great little segment last night on a project out of Colorodo aimed at improving health among the Latino population.  This is done by delivering public health messages via telenovelas.

For those of you who may not have grown up watching Univision or Telemundo, telenovelas are basically like soap operas, but way better.  They have shorter runs, different genres, and jucier stories that develop much more quickly.  They also happen to be a big hit in the Latino community.

The Latino community, however, happens to have the highest rates of uninsurance in the nation – about 34%. 

Encrucijada: Sin Salud No Hay Nada,” or “Crossroads: Without Health, There Is Nothing,” is a telenovela funded by the Colorado Health Foundation that follows four health workers and focuses on a lot of issues that affect Latinos disproportionally, like diabetes and lack of insurance. Viewers are encouraged to call a toll-free number if they are experiencing issues like those faced by the characters on the show.

Apprarently, this show has been going on for a while becuase they are already filming season 2!  And, it seems to be getting some traction too – since the show first aired in May of last year, more than 800 people have phoned into the hotline.  That’s no small peanuts!

Wouldn’t it be great to do something like this in NY? Maybe El Bloombito could even have a small cameo role as, well, mayor or something :-)

Click here to read the story from PBS Newshour, titled “Telenovelas Provide Platform for Public Health Message.”

Click here to watch the trailer (in Spanish).


Alright kids, it’s that time of the year again! The weather is getting colder and state politics are heating up – all clear indications that HCFANY’s annual statewide meeting is just around the bend.

So, get out your datebooks or your newfangled iCalendars or whatnot and pencil in the following info:

HCFANY Annual Meeting

December 13, 2011

January 5, 2012

11 am – 4 pm

Westminster Presb. Church

85 Chestnut Street Entrance

 Albany, NY

That will suffice for the moment while HCFANY’s Organizing Commitee  continues to hash out the details and finalize the agenda.

It’s been a busy summer, and next session is shaping up to be a doozy! Come hear what HCFANY has been up to, what we’ve got in store for you in the coming months, and how you can get involved.  We just can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces again!

Not a member of HCFANY yet? That’s okay! Come sit in on the meeting and see what we’re all about.  Like to be ahead of the game? You can RSVP now for the meeting too, if you’d like.

Click here to RSVP for HCFANY’s Annual Meeting on December 13th in Albany.

Otherwise, stay tuned for more details!

[P.S. – here is a Google map of the location, in case anybody needs it]