NYAIL has joined several organizations in speaking out on Governor Cuomo's proposed budget and Medicaid funding. This statement is being released as part of a joint press conference that will be held outside the NYS Senate Lobby on March 11th. The statement emphasizes principles to protect Medicaid and the many New Yorkers that depend on the program.

The full statement is available below or as a PDF at:


Statement on Governor Cuomo’s Proposed FY 2020-21 Budget and Medicaid Funding

New York’s Medicaid program is a lifeline for millions of New Yorkers and their families. It ensures that low-income New Yorkers receive appropriate care that allows them to live healthier lives with basic financial security. As the progressive leader of the nation, New York has thoughtfully built a Medicaid program to be proud of and should not impose cuts without meaningful community and legislative deliberation.

We, the above organizations along with more than 130 additional undersigned organizations, respectfully call on Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to bear the following principles in mind:

● This year’s Medicaid budget should not be handled through a Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) process, but rather through the more transparent legislative process wherein the Governor proposes, the Legislature responds via one-house bills, and three-way negotiations and conference committees finalize an agreement. This process allows the public to provide comments directly to their duly elected officials.

● The Medicaid “global cap” should be eliminated and replaced with a transparent and accountable global budgeting process that appropriately considers demographic shifts, inflation and other relevant factors. Likewise, the 2% annual growth cap for the overall state budget should also be eliminated.

● The counties’ “local share” should not be increased. Rather, the state should continue to take over more and more of the financing of Medicaid from counties, as it has been doing in recent years.

● The Governor and Legislature should fill in any budget deficit by raising new revenues or spending existing reserves. They should do so in ways that do not fall upon everyday New Yorkers, but rather require large corporations and the ultra-rich who have benefited from decades of state and federal tax cuts to once again “pay their fair share” of taxes. The Budget Justice for New York campaign has come up with a variety of suggestions worthy of serious consideration. Additional revenues must be considered to inoculate New York State from any further impact from Federal decisions that will negatively impact revenue for our Medicaid program.

We support a publicly accessible MRT process with an extended timeline for thoughtful review and public comment. An MRT process outside the budget session should be governed under the following conditions:

● A diversity of consumers and consumer advocates have an equal share of roles as true stakeholders who have a vested interest in the outcome of any MRT process.

● The MRT’s work should not be driven by bottom-line budget concerns, but rather focused on what’s actually needed by people who are enrolled in Medicaid.

● All MRT meetings must be open to the public in full compliance with the NYS Open Meetings Law, or at the minimal all MRT meetings and public comment sessions must be announced at least 7 days in advance, including hours and locations. Evening and weekend times should be prioritized, and public comment sessions must be held in various regions across the state and accessible via public transportation.

● Public hearings and meetings should ensure full engagement of all New Yorkers, especially provisions for language and interpretation for people with limited English proficiency and sign language for people with hearing and speech impairments. In addition, assistive technologies should be used to enable people with disabilities to fully participate in the MRT process either in person or remotely. All meeting notices must state that reasonable accessibility accommodations will be made for anyone who needs them.

● Any MRT scoring system of proposals must be created through a set of agreed upon criteria. The scoring should include the full-dollar value of any funding cuts, a full analysis of the benefits of the proposal, an analysis of the expected or possible effect on access to care and on the quality of care, and full opportunity for inclusion of dissenting analyses, positions and alternative proposals to be included in the final report.

New York is rightfully proud of the work we have done to dramatically reduce the number of uninsured and underinsured residents of this state. Much of that effort has been focused on enrollment in Medicaid. New York’s Medicaid program has always stood as a standard for the rest of the nation to strive toward, we cannot blame the very growth we are lauding to create a false narrative of deficits.

If we want to reflect New York’s progressive values, we must protect Medicaid and make any changes in an open, transparent process that protects the core benefits of the program millions of
individuals and families rely on for basic services. As organizations, and advocates, we call on the Governor and Legislature follow the above principles in order to protect our state’s vital Medicaid system.

For more information, please contact:

Campaign for New York Health
Katie Robbins, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 917-657-4663

Child Health Now!
Ben Anderson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 212-697-0942

Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State
Bryan O’Malley, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518-813-9537

Health Care for All New York
Amanda Dunker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 212-254-8900

Medicaid Matters New York
Lara Kassel, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518-463-1896 x124

New York Association on Independent Living
Meghan Parker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518-465-4650 x103

New York StateWide Senior Action Council
Gail Myers, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518-436-1006

Save NY Public Health
Anthony Feliciano, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646-325-5317



Academy of Medical & Public Health Services
ADAPT Capital Region
African Services Committee
AIM Independent Living Center
Albany Damien Center
Alliance for Positive Change
Amida Care
Apicha Community Health Center
Argus Community
ARISE Independent Living Center
Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health
Bailey House, Inc.
Bronx Independent Living Services
Brooklyn – Queens Long Island Area Health Education Center
Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled
Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc.
Burd Home Health LLC
BWICA Educational Fund
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
Campaign for New York Health
Caribbean Women’s Health Association, Inc.
Catskill Center for Independence
Center Disability Rights, Inc.
Center for Elder Law & Justice
Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY
Child Health Now!
Children’s Defense Fund-New York
Children’s Health and Research Foundation
Citizen Action of New York
Citizen’s Committee for Children of New York
Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment
Colectivo Intercultural Transgrediendo y Lorena Community Fund
Commission on the Public’s Health System
Community Health Action of Staten Island
Community Health Care Association of New York State
Community Service Center of Greater Williamsburg
Community Service Society of New York
Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of NYS
Coverage4All Campaign
Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Inc.
Directions In Independent Living, Inc.
Disability In Action
Disabled in Action of Greater Syracuse, Inc.
District Council 37, AFSCME
Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc.
Emerald Isle Immigration Center
Empire Justice Center
Empire Liver Foundation
Erie Niagara Birth-8 Coalition
Evergreen Health
Finger Lakes Community Health
Finger Lakes Independence Center
Fort Greene Strategic Neighborhood Action Partnership
Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research (FIAR)
Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Good Shepherd Services
Grand St. Settlement
Grassroots Action NY
Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network
Harlem Independent Living Center
Harm Reduction Coalition
Health and Welfare Council of Long Island
Health Foundation for Western and Central New York
Health Policy Advisory Center
Hispanic Federation
Hispanic Health Network
Housing Works
IMPACCT Brooklyn
Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, Inc.
Independent Living, Inc.
Interfaith Impact of NYS
Japanese American Social Services, Inc.
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
Kings Against Violence Initiative
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan NY, Inc.
Latino Commission on AIDS
Latinos for Healthcare Equity
Legal Action Center
Long Island ADAPT
Long Island Center for Independent Living, Inc.
Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, Inc.
Make the Road New York
Mediamatic, Inc.
Medicaid Matters New York
Metro New York Health Care for All
NAACP New York State Conference
National Black Leadership Commission on Health
National Working Positive Coalition
New York Association on Independent Living
New York Immigration Coalition
New York School-Based Health Alliance
New York Self-Determination Coalition
New York State Council of Churches
New York State Nurses Association
New York StateWide Senior Action Council
Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, Inc.
NY Aging Life Care Association
NYC Coalition to Dismantle Racism in the Health System
Oasis Day Care
Outreach Healthcare
Palliative Home Care of Niagara, Inc.
Physicians for a National Health Program – NY Metro Chapter
Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts
Polonians Organized to Minister to Our Community, Inc. (POMOC)
Project Safety Net NY
Putnam Independent Living Services
Sakhi for South Asian Women
Samaritan Daytop Village, Inc.
Save NY Public Health Campaign
Schuyler Center for Advocacy and Analysis
Southern Tier ADAPT
Southern Tier AIDS Program
Southern Tier Independence Center
Staten Island Center for Independent Living, Inc.
Supporting Our Youth & Adults Network
Taconic Resources for Independence, Inc.
The Alliance of TBI & NHTD Waiver Providers
The Children’s Agenda
The Hepatitis C Mentor and Support Group, Inc.
The HIV League
The Legal Aid Society
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
The New York City Anti-Violence Project
The People’s Budget Coalition
Treatment Action Group
Tri-Lakes Center for Independent Living, Inc.
Unity Housing
Upper West Side MoveOn/Indivisible Action Group
Uptown Progressive Action
Vibrant Emotional Health
Voices Of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL-NY)
Westchester Independent Living Center, Inc.
Western New York Independent Living
Young Invincibles