Community Leaders Urge Gov. Hochul to Raise Medicaid Funding to Stave Off Healthcare Crisis

By Hamodia Staff

Prominent leaders of Jewish communities around New York State have joined with 650 faith leaders across the state to implore the governor to raise the reimbursement for Medicaid providers and prevent cutbacks in healthcare services.

Rabbi David Niederman of UJO of Williamsburg, Rabbi Eli Cohen of Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, Yoel Rosenfeld of Bobov, Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik of Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO) of Staten Island, and Rabbi Hersh Horowitz of Community Outreach Center in Rockland joined a diverse coalition of nearly 100 patient groups and community health advocates to demand an end to the Medicaid funding crisis.

The New York State budget process begins with the governor submitting her proposals, which is referred to as the Executive Budget, followed by the two houses of the state legislature, the NYS Senate and NYS Assembly, each submitting their own plan, known as One House Budget resolutions, after which all parties negotiate to reach a final budget.

Governor Hochul’s executive budget proposed health care cuts which would endanger the stability of many hospitals that provide care to the 7 million low-income residents of the state who receive healthcare services from such facilities.

“Even though Medicaid provides vital coverage to these New Yorkers, New York’s Medicaid program pays hospitals 30% less than the actual cost of care hospitals provide,” Avery Cohen of NY Alliance for Healthcare Justice (NYAHJ) told Hamodia. “This system endangers healthcare providers and the low-income patients, including seniors, children, mothers, and people with disabilities, who rely on them.”

This chronic underfunding has also led to hospitals and nursing homes to cut or reduce vital services, and in some cases, including Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Eastern Niagara Hospital, and Kingsbrook Jewish Medicaid Center, to close their doors. In January, the state announced plans to close SUNY Downstate, which services the residents of Brooklyn.

The One House Budget resolutions of the NYS Senate and Assembly include a crucial Medicaid reimbursement rate increase for hospitals. Adding these adjustments to the final state budget would help stabilize New York’s financially struggling hospitals, strengthen the health care workforce, and help ensure that our most vulnerable communities receive the high-quality care they deserve, NYAHJ maintains.

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