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2021-2022 state budget must protect and invest in healthcare

It’s never a good time to cut state support for healthcare. This year it would be devastating.

By any measure, 2020 was an extraordinarily challenging year. COVID-19 stretched the state’s healthcare system nearly to its breaking point.

Throughout this pandemic, one thing has remained clear: Hospitals and health systems, the anchors of their communities, have been there for all New Yorkers. Our hospitals and healthcare workers continue to be the bedrock of the ongoing response to this pandemic.

We recently spoke to healthcare workers from across the state about their experiences during the pandemic. Their stories were emotional, harrowing and inspiring. And they all agreed – New York’s healthcare system needs more resources, not less.

Development of the state fiscal year 2021-2022 budget is underway, and damaging cuts are on the table. While it’s never a good time to cut state support for healthcare, this year it would be devastating. Healthcare providers are already strained by reductions that went into effect last year and by pandemic-related extraordinary costs and revenue losses.

HANYS and our members are calling on the governor and state Legislature to protect existing healthcare funding – and make further investments and reforms that make our not-for-profit hospitals, health systems and continuing care providers ever more sustainable, strong and prepared for future health emergencies.

HANYS is committed to working with state government and all healthcare stakeholders as we pursue our common goal: ensuring that the highest quality care is accessible and affordable to all New Yorkers. We look forward to continuing the progress we have made together.

Want to learn more about HANYS’ state budget priorities? See HANYS President Bea Grause’s complete SFY 2021-2022 state budget testimony, delivered Feb. 25 at the joint legislative hearing of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees.