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Nearly Every Hospital in the State to Lose Critical Funding Under State Budget Plan

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Nearly every hospital in New York State would lose critical funding under Governor Paterson’s 2009-2010 Executive Budget proposal that, in total, seeks to eliminate more than $2.5 billion in health care funding, with more than $1 billion in hospital cuts alone. If enacted by the State Legislature, these cuts would result in the elimination of essential health services and health care jobs in virtually every community of the state.

HANYS has issued a report showing the impact on every hospital in the state.

“These cuts are astronomical and incredibly damaging to the health and well-being of every New Yorker,” said Daniel Sisto, President, HANYS. “Most hospitals are already reporting huge losses due to current artificially low reimbursement levels and the impact of the national recession. As a result, most hospitals have already planned to freeze or reduce services and staff. Moreover, health care providers have already been cut twice this year, for a total of more than $1 billion, weakening them further still.

“If the Governor’s new round of cuts is realized, hospitals will have no choice but to eliminate critically important services to protect their core functions,” Mr. Sisto said. “That means community-based programs such as cancer screenings, well-child clinics, and mobile health services will have to be sacrificed to protect the viability of services such as emergency room and inpatient care, surgery, and birthing centers. That also means thousands of health care jobs will be eliminated statewide, weakening one of the only sectors of the economy that remains viable.”

“It is essential that the Legislature mitigate these cuts. It is also critically important that Congress pass a federal stimulus plan that includes an increase in federal health care funding,” Mr. Sisto said. “And any federal increase for health care must be used for health care only.”

Published December 22, 2008