Driving home from HANYS’ Healthcare Advocacy Day in Albany on March 5, I was inspired.
The outpouring of support from healthcare workers and New York’s state legislators was encouraging, their participation and voices critically important to our efforts to reverse proposed cuts that would amount to $657M for hospitals and more than $400M for nursing homes. But we knew that our advocacy couldn’t end when the buses left the Capitol. Our advocacy – in Albany and statewide – continued.
And every day since has affirmed the importance of continued advocacy to protect healthcare funding. Take a look at just three of them:
- On Monday, March 11, President Donald Trump presented Congress with his $4.75 trillion budget plan, calling for massive Medicare and Medicaid cuts, including cuts to funds that directly support hospitals and health systems. As proposed, the consequences for New York’s programs would be tremendous. While President Trump won’t get everything he asks for, any cuts that reduce patients’ access to affordable, quality care would be unacceptable.
- On Tuesday, March 12, the New York State Senate and Assembly released their one-house budget proposals; each reversed nearly all of the damaging cuts proposed in the executive budget, recognizing the dire impact they would have. We’re grateful for the Senate and Assembly leaders and members’ willingness to listen to our collective advocacy and their intention to protect healthcare.
- On Wednesday, March 13, the Cuomo administration announced it was revisiting its entire proposed budget in light of President Trump’s federal budget proposal. New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica noted that proposed federal cuts would lead to a 20% cut in the state’s federal Medicaid funding, among other consequences.
Three days show us why we must fight for healthcare funding, and the progress that can be made when we do. These three days remind us that, while we may face down one threat, more will pop up. All along the way, our voices are needed to remind our legislators – and the members of the public that vote for them – why investing in healthcare is so critically important to our patients and our communities.
We’ll prevent cuts. We’ll face new ones. We’ll continue to fight.