GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Workers at the Weinberg Campus in Getzville are planning to hold a rally Monday, calling for healthcare support in the yet-to-be-passed New York State budget.
Originally, the state budget was due on April 1, but has repeatedly been extended on a weekly basis, as legislators decide on what’s getting funded, and how much to allocate.
According to 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which has more than 450,000 members across the United States, “healthcare workers across New York State are continuing an unprecedented string of actions to focus attention to New York’s healthcare crisis that would further deteriorate if Medicaid isn’t funded adequately in the state budget.”
“Failure to pass a timely budget has already caused a major lapse in healthcare funding, including the expiration of the 340b drug pricing program on April 1, eliminating some $525 million to community hospitals,” the union said.
They’re calling for New York to invest $2.5 billion in healthcare in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, with these specific points:
Increase Medicaid reimbursement rates by 10% for hospitals and 20% for nursing homes, with no offsets.
Restore the $700 million in safety-net funding and increase it by an additional $600 million.
Address the disparity in reimbursement rates in upstate New York, which are approximately 20% lower than downstate.
Preserve the investment made last year in Fair Pay for Home Care to stabilize the homecare workforce and undo the drastic proposed cuts to wages for workers employed through the consumer-directed program.
Raise the minimum wage to $21.25 by 2027, followed by indexing.
Workers at Weinberg Campus, a retirement community, are planning to walk out at noon.
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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.