January 13, 2016
Statement by Dennis Whalen on the Executive Budget
The health budget is at best a work in progress.
The proposed budget contains no multi-year, significant plan for healthcare system transformation—as there is for economic justice and development, infrastructure, homelessness, education, and social reform.
The Governor’s new plan for cancer screening, awareness, treatment coordination, and research is important and on target. And we appreciate the Governor’s past efforts in healthcare as he reformed Medicaid through the Medicaid Redesign Team, successfully fought for a federal waiver, established a health exchange and increased insurance coverage, and made much-needed investments in healthcare in his past two budgets.
But the implementation of these past investments in healthcare system transformation has been frustratingly inefficient. Desperately-needed capital dollars from two budgets ago have yet to be distributed—even as the imperatives to reform and restructure our delivery system for patients have escalated.
Now new pressures such as the prospect of an unreimbursed minimum wage increase and unpaid Health Republic bills are added on top of all the serious challenges facing our hospitals and health systems—which have among the lowest margins and oldest infrastructure in the nation.
The dollars passed in previous budgets must get distributed and new dollars are needed to continue to transform healthcare for the patients and communities across our state. An approach that includes no new capital and reshuffles previously promised monies that the state has been unable to get out the door threatens to stop progress and will threaten access to care for our patients across the state.
We will work with the Governor and Legislature to seek a budget that meets the needs for all the transformational work that needs to be done.
Associate Director, Public and Media Relations
The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other healthcare organizations.