By ALFREDO ALVARADO
DC 37 leaders joined health care activists and Public Advocate Letitia James, City Council member Vanessa Gibson and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to demand the federal and state governments provide more funding for the city’s cash strapped network of public hospitals. NYC Health + Hospitals face a $2 billion deficit in 2019.
“Our state and federal government must do their part to ensure New Yorkers access to high quality comprehensive health care,” said Brewer during a press conference April 14 in front of City Hall.
The activists also cautioned against any attempts by the city to resolve the hospital’s budget crisis by privatizing services. “Privatizing these desperately needed resources will not solve our problems,” said James. “And it has proven to cost taxpayers more money.”
Ralph Palladino, 2nd VP of Local 1549 and a longtime health care activist, noted that inadequate funding is not a new issue. “We consistently receive less money for care than we are entitled to,” Palladino said.
NYC Health + Hospitals provides service for 60 percent of the indigent and uninsured patients in the state, but it only receives 3 percent of the $3.5 billion that Albany allocates for those patients annually.DC 37 supports legislation to change the formula for allocating funds for the treatment of indigent and uninsured patients so that NYC Health + Hospitals receives the proper share of the funding.
At the annual NYC Health + Hospitals meeting held in April, union advocates spoke out in support of public health care stressing that more federal funds should the patient.