NEW TIME! Faith Leaders for Healthcare Justice
Start: Wednesday, April 12, 2023•12:00 PM
UPDATE: We're joining forces with 1199SEIU this Wednesday, April 12 at noon! Join Bishop William Barber II, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and other faith leaders from across New York State to demand a moral budget that invests in healthcare.
Negotiations over the NYS budget have stalled as Gov. Hochul tries to push through her billionaire-backed agenda. Meanwhile New Yorkers’ ability to access healthcare hangs in the balance.
1 million New Yorkers lack health insurance - and a million more are likely to lose Medicaid coverage when the COVID public health emergency ends next month.
Many insured New Yorkers also can’t access affordable care. A majority of New Yorkers find health care unaffordable, and 1 in 7 have used up all or most of their savings on medical bills.
New York has the worst home health care crisis in the country - and the worker shortage is projected to hit almost 1.5 million by 2035.
This denial of healthcare is morally indefensible - especially given New York’s immense wealth. Religious leaders and people of faith from across New York are calling on our elected leaders to treat healthcare as a human right.
On Wednesday, April 12 join Bishop William Barber II, Rev. Jesse Jackson and other clergy and patients at the State Capitol to demand the legislature and governor immediately expand healthcare access by including these policies in the state budget:
Coverage for All: Nearly 255,000 New Yorkers are currently excluded from health coverage due to their immigration status. Coverage for All expands the Essential Plan to ensure that ALL immigrants, regardless of immigration status, have access to affordable health insurance. Coverage for All can be fully paid for by the federal government by including ALL immigrants in the 1332 Federal waiver request, which would allow the state to use federal funding for the expansion, with zero cost to the state.
Fair Pay for Home Care: Fair Pay for Home Care would pay home care workers as skilled healthcare workers, raising the wage to 150% of the current minimum wage; it would also ban private insurance companies from stealing millions of dollars meant for home care. While last year’s budget included a small wage increase for home care workers, Gov. Hochul has proposed eliminating that raise.
Funding for Medicaid and Safety Net Hospitals: Safety net hospitals are calling for a 10% increase in the Medicaid rate in the state budget, and dedicated funding for safety nets. These hospitals are a lifeline to our communities: Only a critical investment of this kind can allow these healthcare institutions to function without fear of closure and provide the most vulnerable among us with the healthcare that they need.
Ounce of Prevention Act: New York hospitals receive $1.13 billion dollars each year intended to go toward financial assistance - and yet have sued more than 53,000 patients in the last 5 years. Countless more paid bills they couldn’t afford even though they should have qualified for assistance. The Ounce of Prevention Act will help to prevent medical debt by making hospital financial assistance more accessible and ensuring that money allocated to hospitals for charity care is used for that purpose.