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In 2020 prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, the state created an MRT II Task Force to cut $2.5 billion in Medicaid funding. It was a mere week after the MRT II process started that hospitals and other health care facilities were on the verge of overflowing due to the worst health care crisis in our lifetime. It is important to note, the state was making these cuts despite Wall Street performing at record highs, unemployment was at record lows and the economy was in overall great shape.

This year more Medicaid cuts were proposed. Over $180 million in another round of across-the-board cuts are proposed for hospitals, following two previous years of similar cuts, as well as steep cuts in long-term managed care and a slew of other reductions.  

Medicaid is a lifeline to health care for over 40% of the state’s population, many of whom are not able to work because of age, illness, or disability. Many others that rely on Medicaid are victims of the pandemic’s effect on the state’s economy. Simply put, Medicaid is vital to the overall quality of health care in the state and provides access for millions of New Yorkers.

We need to do more to make sure this vital program is properly funded so we can finally end this current crisis with the minimal amount of damage possible. As we move forward, we need to make sure that health care is available to everyone who does not have access to private insurance. Too many lives literally depend on it.  

As we fight for sufficient Medicaid funding, we must also fight to ensure that providers spend that money on those providing care at the bedside rather than excessive administrative costs and profit. That includes nursing home reform proposals that would require home operators to devote 70% of their revenue to resident care and 40% on staffing.

Mario Cilento, President