Albany, N.Y.—In a partnership that has proved to be effective for more than a decade, the healthcare workers’ union, 1199SEIU, and the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), have teamed up to ensure adequate funding in the State budget for financially struggling healthcare institutions across New York. Healthcare workers from across the state weathered snowstorms to attend several rallies in Albany, urging the State Legislature to pass a final budget that includes adequate funding for New York’s hospitals, nursing homes, and home care workers.
“Washington’s cuts to healthcare have left some of New York’s most vulnerable patients struggling to maintain access to the local care they so desperately need,” said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU. “1199 members from all over the state came to Albany on March 15th
to stand up for their patients, communities, and the good jobs that allow working men and women to live with dignity. We are looking to our elected officials here in Albany to stand up for working people by allocating the budget funding necessary to protect community healthcare access for all New Yorkers.”
According to Gresham, the attacks on the Affordable Care Act in Washington is having a devastating effect on healthcare services across our state and around the country. The proposed federal government’s plan to turn Medicaid over to states in the form of block grants will further weaken local healthcare networks in New York. With 28 hospitals on the State’s “watch list” and the lowering of staffing standards in nursing homes, the need for the State Legislature to support healthcare funding has never been more pressing. Safety net hospitals, nursing homes, and home care agencies are all been under-funded for several years.
“New York’s financially troubled hospitals have gone 10 years without a single Medicaid reimbursement rate increase while our costs have steadily climbed,” said GNYHA President Kenneth E. Raske. “Now, with the State’s health care funding under constant threat from Washington, the situation has become untenable. Our ongoing advocacy is a reminder to State legislators that it has never been more important for Albany to provide significant additional health care funding in the State budget.”