In response to a staggering $1 billion in health care cuts proposed in the wake of a larger-than-expected budget deficit, the GNYHA-1199SEIU Healthcare Education Project (HEP) is waging a massive “No Health Care Cuts” campaign. The multi-faceted campaign’s goal is to educate New Yorkers and their State elected officials that the cuts will decimate the State’s health care delivery system. Last week, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East President George Gresham and GNYHA President Kenneth E. Raske sent letters to Senate and Assembly leadership urging them to reject the cuts.
The HEP campaign includes radio and digital ads that will air heavily downstate (New York City, Long Island, Hudson Valley) as well as in Albany and Buffalo. The radio ad includes a Spanish version. Digital ads will appear on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Search.
Other facets of the campaign include workforce rallies, phone banking, district office visits and partnering with faith-based groups. The public rallies will include thousands of 1199SEIU workers, hospital executives, community leaders, and concerned New Yorkers. They will be held this week in the Bronx (March 4), Manhattan (March 5), Brooklyn (March 6), and Queens (March 7). The rallies will culminate with a major demonstration in Albany on March 19.
A statewide “patch-through” phone-banking effort that connects New Yorkers to Assembly and Senate offices has already generated thousands of calls. In addition, HEP staff, community allies, and 1199SEIU members are conducting district office visits to deliver the “No Health Care Cuts” message. Finally, HEP staff are asking religious leaders to deliver the “No Health Care Cuts” message during their Sunday services.
In addition to HEP activities, the GNYHA Government Affairs team will maintain a constant presence in Albany and regularly meet with leaders and members of the Senate and Assembly. GNYHA will also work with GNYHA member hospitals that do not have 1199SEIU employees to educate their workforce and communities about these untenable cuts.