New York’s elected officials have sent a letter to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to oppose the proposed Medicaid budget cuts in his executive budget proposal. The letter dated March 30, is signed by 30 New York state lawmakers on the city, state, and federal levels, urges Governor Cuomo to withdraw his Medicare Redesign Team’s proposed Medicaid funding cut, rendering New York state, “ ineligible for a large portion of federal coronavirus relief aid from the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”
“The executive budget proposal to cut Medicaid funds will directly impact safety net hospitals and doctors across our state,” the letter reads, “including those treating the highest percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 in the country.” New York has become the epicenter in the United States for this global pandemic with cases topping 75,000, and the death toll rising to 1,550 at the time of this writing.
New York State is expected to lose $15 billion in tax revenue due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Lawmakers who signed the letter argue that while aid from the federal government is needed, it will not lift us out of this deficit, nor will Medicaid cuts solve the problem.
Notable lawmakers who signed off on the letter include firebrand congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bushwick’s council member Antonio Reynoso, Bushwick’s assemblymember Maritza Davila, and Bushwick’s state senator Julia Salazar.
State Senator Salazar said in the press release, in full, that “[t]his is a critical moment for us to come together as legislators and fulfill our responsibility to speak up for New York’s most vulnerable. Our safety net hospitals urgently require more resources, not Medicaid cuts. It’s imperative that we require the wealthiest people in our state to pay their fair share of taxes in order to fight this historic pandemic.”
Here’s the full letter to Governor Cuomo
Cover photo courtesy of Travis American