From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Richard N. Gottfried • Chair, Health Committee
Steve Englebright • Chair, Aging Committee
Peter M. Rivera • Chair, Mental Health Committee
Legislature makes the right choice —
New York’s struggling economy is forcing everyone to make tough choices — but Governor Pataki made the wrong choices by proposing a budget that threatens the health and well-being of our families. In fact, Governor Pataki called for over $2 billion in cuts to Medicaid and other health care spending when hospitals and nursing homes are already losing money and facing serious staffing shortages.
The governor’s cuts to Medicaid would seriously threaten the quality of care available for our families, in addition to jeopardizing 48,000 health care-related jobs and eradicating services. In a spirit of bipartisan unity, the Assembly and Senate passed a responsible budget that restores more than $1.2 billion in funding for Medicaid, public health, and Health Care Reform Act programs.
Fighting the governor’s wrong choices
When you take funding from a hospital, nursing home, home care agency or clinic — whether by cutting Medicaid payments or by leaving more patients uninsured — staff gets cut and services are stretched thinner. Even the wealthiest will receive a poorer quality of care. Our families depend on quality, affordable health care, and the Legislature’s budget ensures they get it.
The Legislature’s plan lessens the damage of the governor’s severe cuts by:
Protecting New York’s most vulnerable
To help some of our most vulnerable citizens, the Assembly has also restored $30 million to block the governor’s attempt to:
These centers and research facilities attract much needed funding and provide reliable jobs for our families. The budget will ensure these facilities remain intact to continue their progressive research and provide New Yorkers with quality care.
Additionally, we’ve agreed to restore $26 million to fund the Supplemental Security Income cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA). SSI helps many elderly and disabled to make ends meet. Originally, the governor proposed defraying a portion of the state’s cost associated with the SSI program (the supplement) by taking the federal COLA away from SSI recipients, but the Legislature’s budget restores funding for this critical program.
Keeping seniors independent
To help seniors stay independent and remain an integral part of the community, the Legislature restored funding for Social Model Day and Respite Care and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. The Legislature also rejected the governor’s proposal to consolidate the Community Services for the Elderly program with the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly program and restored them to their respective funding levels.
Seniors should be active members of our community, and restoring these initiatives will help ensure they enjoy a higher quality of life. We also rejected the governor’s proposal to take away health benefits from state retirees — keeping the state’s promise to these hard-working men and women.
Keeping quality health care a priority
There is no excuse for cutting health care programs like Medicaid that serve the most vulnerable. People depend on these programs, and Medicaid cuts put the health of our loved ones at risk. Our families’ health must not be compromised by staffing shortages, monetary losses, and closed health care facilities.
The Assembly and Senate have diligently joined together to ensure our families have access to quality, affordable care. The Assembly urges the governor to make the right choice by signing this budget into law.
New York State Assembly
[ Welcome Page ] [ Committee Updates ]