Thousands of advocates rally in Albany asking legislators to put more money into healthcare

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — Governor Kathy Hochul’s healthcare proposal includes increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates by five percent for hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living providers.

Healthcare advocates are asking for the governor and legislators to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates by 10 percent for hospitals and 20 percent for nursing homes.

Some advocates among the thousands who traveled to Albany Tuesday said the final state budget needs to reflect these numbers to restore New York’s healthcare system.

“Healthcare is injurious at this point, and I’ll be honest, it’s not an exaggeration to say if the resources aren’t restored, then people are gonna die. We are already at that critical line,” said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

Both chambers of the legislature include some of the increased rates advocates are hoping for in their one-house budget resolutions. The Senate and the Assembly proposes a 10 percent Medicaid reimbursement rate for hospitals.

“We understand that we are all stronger when we are all working together and that when we lift one up, we lift everybody up. And nothing happens without our health, and nothing happens without healthcare workers,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35th Senate District).

Lawmakers are currently undergoing negotiations with the governor. Any changes to Medicaid reimbursement rates will have to go through the final state budget due on April 1.


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