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The Protect Medicaid Campaign, including NYAIL, has released the following statement on April 3rd following passage of the New York State Budget for 2020-2021.

Medicaid Consumer Advocates Respond to 2021 Enacted Budget

(Albany, NY – April 2, 2020) When Governor Cuomo established his Medicaid Redesign Team – or MRT II – in January, he gave its members the directive that any proposed changes have "zero impact on beneficiaries." The recommendations approved by the MRT II (with abstention from its one and only consumer representative) are largely included in this year's budget, and they fall far short of that directive. In fact, their proposals – which the Cuomo administration itself crafted with no legislative negotiation and limited meaningful public input – will have an immediate and detrimental impact on tens of thousands of New Yorkers. These recommendations represent a misplaced commitment to a broken formula and will cause profound harm to beneficiaries. Many of the changes to long-term care will lead to hospitalization and nursing facility placement.

The enacted Medicaid cuts threaten the health, well-being and independence of low-income people and people with disabilities who rely on the program. These cuts will also hurt the hospitals, community-based health centers and other safety-net services that disproportionately serve vulnerable populations and historically-underserved communities, the very people and providers most impacted by the pandemic we now face. This does not represent the best New York can be.

There are many responsible budget alternatives. Instead of requiring those who can most afford it with little, if any, sacrifice to pay their fair share, the budget is balanced on the backs of everyday New Yorkers coping with a public health crisis and all its ramifications.

Governor Cuomo has said that his budget includes policy reforms that reflect social, economic and racial justice. We believe these changes in Medicaid move us further from those goals.

Protect Medicaid Campaign: Campaign for New York Health, Campaign for New York Health, Child Health Now!, Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State, Health Care for All New York, Medicaid Matters New York, New York Association on Independent Living, Save NY Public Health.