Faith Leaders Add Voice to Calls for Health Care Equity

January 30, 2024

This afternoon in Albany, more than 30 faith leaders from across the State will hold a press conference inside the State Capitol to call on New York Governor Kathy Hochul to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate to hospitals to help address health disparities in low-income communities. In addition, the attached full-page print ad, in which more than 200 faith leaders urge the Governor to “Fully Fund Medicaid,” is running in today’s Albany Times Union and Buffalo News. The ad will also run in Thursday’s Amsterdam News.

These faith leaders add an important voice to the GNYHA-1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Healthcare Education Project (HEP) campaign to 1) persuade Albany to increase New York’s Medicaid reimbursement rate for hospitals to 100% of cost and 2) strive for health care justice for all New Yorkers by reducing health care disparities and improving health outcomes for low-income, predominantly Black and Brown communities. Governor Hochul’s proposed budget does not include HEP’s commonsense goals.

The print ad includes the following excerpts from a letter the faith leaders will deliver to the Governor’s office after the press conference:

“As faith leaders, we are in the community. We are witnesses to the devastation this health care crisis is causing.”

“We join the New York Alliance for Healthcare Justice in the belief that underfunding Medicaid is at the heart of what is fundamentally wrong and destructive in health care.”

“Governor Hochul, fully funding Medicaid should be a priority. You can fix this, and we need you to fix this now for the sake of all New Yorkers.”

The faith leaders plan to send copies of their letter to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. They also plan to request in-person meetings with Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie.

We will keep you informed of all aspects of our campaign, including community meetings, asking legislators to sign a memo in support of our goals, and a comprehensive media campaign (broadcast, radio, digital, and social).

I urge all GNYHA members to educate elected officials and community members about the campaign.

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