Assembly Budget Makes Critical Health Investments

Includes $345 Million to Insure the Undocumented, Makes Critical Maternal Health Investments

Speaker Carl Heastie and Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried today announced the Assembly State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23 Budget would make critical health investments that protect vulnerable individuals, including undocumented immigrants, pregnant and postpartum women, children and elderly and disabled New Yorkers.

“The Assembly Majority has always been committed to ensuring that every New Yorker has access to quality health care,” said Speaker Heastie. “Our spending plan reflects that commitment by ensuring that our most vulnerable populations have access to care, and our health care systems are equipped to provide it.”

“Health care is a human right and the Assembly Majority has long fought to strengthen New York's health care system and improve patient care,” said Assemblymember Gottfried. “The Assembly's budget makes new investments in health care coverage and delivery including 'Fair Pay for Home Care' to provide financial security and dignity to the home care workforce; 'Coverage for All' to offer health coverage to New Yorkers regardless of immigration status; and significant new hospital investments to ensure the future of our safety net providers. This is the most progressive, forward-thinking budget in my 35 years as Health Committee Chair and I look forward to working with our partners in the Senate and Executive to get it done.”

The Assembly Budget includes a new $345 million appropriation to include coverage for undocumented immigrants under the Essential Plan. The state’s Essential Plan provides comprehensive benefits with no monthly premium and very low-cost sharing to income qualifying New Yorkers.

The plan also eliminates the Medicaid resources test and increases the eligibility limit to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for seniors and individuals with disabilities. It also restores a 1.5 percent cut to Medicaid fee for service rates and increases Medicaid rates of payment across the board by one percent.

Investments in children included in the Assembly Budget would expand coverage of behavioral health services under the Child Health Plus Program and eliminate premiums for the lowest income bracket. The proposal also invests $3.82 million to restore funding for school based health centers and $45 million to increase Early Intervention rates by 11 percent.

The budget also provides an additional $1 billion for safety net ($750 million) and major public ($250,000) hospitals.

The proposal prioritizes the health and wellness of pregnant women and new mothers by investing $1.5 million to restore funding for the Nurse-Family Partnership program. The budget would also expand prenatal and postpartum care and services under the Medicaid program and expand postpartum Medicaid coverage to one year following a pregnancy, regardless of immigration status. Under the Essential Plan, cost sharing would be prohibited for individuals for one year postpartum.

To address staffing shortages and incentivize individuals to join the health care workforce, the Assembly’s plan expands the governor’s proposal to establish the Nurses Across New York student loan repayment program for nurses who agree to work in underserved areas for three consecutive years. It would expand the types of locations and the categories of nurses that will be eligible for the program. Additionally, the proposed budget would enact Fair Pay for Home Care, which would establish a minimum wage for home care workers at 150 percent of the regional minimum wage.

Other health investments include $41.2 million to reject the executive’s proposal to eliminate Prescriber Prevails, $5 million for municipal ambulance services, $375,000 to reestablish the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Assistance Program, and $333,000 to study incidences of leukemia in many 9/11 first responders at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.