Governor Cuomo will deliver his State of the State address today at 1:00 PM in Albany. You can watch the live stream on various platforms, including social media and the Governor’s own website here: www.ny.gov.
State legislative leaders are worrying about potential cuts to Medicaid, in view of the state’s projected $4.4 billion deficit and in the wake of federal changes that are expected to have especially damaging impact in NYS.
Advocates for children and for NY’s community health centers are very concerned and advocates for the nonprofit workforce like NYAPRS are closely watching about the potential impact on our proposal to accelerate wage increases that were approved last year. We won’t hear a lot of detail in the State of the State: stay tuned for what we hear thereafter.
"I think the whole spectrum of action and reaction to what's happening in Washington is waiting to unfold," said state Senate Health Chairman Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City). "What that may be we won't know yet."
Assembly Health Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) said he's concerned that the state's $63 billion Medicaid program could become a target.
"I am expecting that in two and a half weeks we will see some extraordinarily damaging Medicaid cuts proposed by the governor," he said. "Some resulting from the state's budget deficit and some resulting from real or anticipated cuts from Washington. I expect they will be proposed cuts on a scale we have not seen since Gov. [George] Pataki's time."
Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) said last month he expects belt-tightening to come from the health care side rather than other big-ticket areas like education.
Also, funding authorization for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers about 350,000 children of low-income families in New York, and community health centers, which offer primary care in many low-income communities, lapsed this fall and the first round of some $2 billion in cuts to New York hospitals went into effect.
The budget crunch could also dampen efforts for new or increased funding, such as direct care workers seeking a quicker phase-in of wage support that was first granted in last year's spending plan,
Hannon said his conference would continue to combat the opioid crisis by improving access to treatment and reducing insurance hurdles for those seeking help. He said the committee also will attempt to increase penalties for drug convictions, a move for which the Democratic-controlled Assembly has little appetite.