Fully Fund Medicaid Now

March 14, 2024

Dear Governor Hochul,

As health advocates in our communities, we write today to express grave concern about your proposed state budget, which continues the chronic underfunding of Medicaid, the critically important program that supports the health of over seven million New Yorkers, or two out of every five people.

We understand that New York’s Medicaid program reimburses hospitals 30 percent less than the actual cost of care, and that these underpayments are pushing these institutions to the fiscal brink. They cannot hire staff they need, and
are cutting badly needed services, including treatment for mental health. The New York State Office of Mental Health has reported the closure of 850 inpatient psychiatric beds across the state, in part because hospitals lack the funds to bring them back into service.

We have friends, family members, and community members who are on Medicaid. We have seen how underfunding aggravates what are already difficult and painful situations, as they seek treatment for diseases like cancer, hypertension and diabetes, assistance for special needs and physical disabilities, and recovery from gun violence. For instance,
you are likely well aware that New York’s Medicaid program is required by law to cover preventive treatment for diabetes. But because underpayments make these services unattractive to providers, they are often unavailable in the communities that need them the most.

As witnesses to the devastation this health care crisis is causing, we are asking you to end this suffering, and make a commitment to fully fund Medicaid by making a significant down payment in this year’s executive budget, to eventually close the gap within the next four years. We applaud the New York State Senate and Assembly for releasing their respective one-house budget resolutions that would put our state on the path to fully funding Medicaid. By committing funding to this crucial public resource, your administration can begin to address these significant health care disparities that have long been ignored. New York would also have a more equitable and better health care system for all, no matter their income or zip code.

We join the New York Alliance for Healthcare Justice in the belief that underfunding Medicaid is at the heart of what is fundamentally wrong and destructive in health care. Fully funding Medicaid should be a priority, for the health of all New Yorkers. Thank you for the full consideration of our concerns.


Laurie Mahoney, Mahoney Group

Elizabeth McGriff, City-Wide Tenants Union
Kimberly A. Byers, RocACTS, Voting Rights Task Force Chair Linda L. Clark, MD, MS, Jordan Health
Ayodele Oliver, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital
Jalil Muntaqim, Citizen Action of New York
Connie Marple, Women of Color New York
Ronnie Hector, SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center Elisa DeJesus, Ibero-American Action League, Inc.
Mary Martinez, Lead Poisoning Prevention and Treatment Project – Montefiore Medical Center
Crescenzo Scipione, Metro Justice of Rochester
Bertha H Motta, Personal Touch Home Care and Sunnyside Community Services
Ana Melendez, DOT Strategies LLC
Raquel Queme, Southside United HDFC – Los Sures
Jessica Fernandez, New York City Department of Education Ronnie R. Hector, SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center Kassandra Campbell, Jamaica Benevolent Arm and Cultural Center
Jackie Dozier, Common Ground Health
Molly McNulty, University of Rochester Public Health Program Maria E Ponce Sevilla, Transnational Villages Network-Red de Pueblos Trasnacionales
Christy Harvey, VNS Health
Elizabeth Mackey, Vocal NY
Sabrina Thomson, ACS
Elizabeth Gill, 47PCC
Angie Gonzalez, NAICA
Sara Wall Bollinger, New York State Association for Rural Health, Inc.
Roxanne Marin, MA, FDC., Centro Civico / Ibero-America Action League
Sonya Hawkibs, Safe, Inc
Shirley E. Coverdale, Family Community Life Center, Inc. Bernice Rivera, New York State United Teachers ( NYSUT) Ruthie Young, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Tasha Hudson, Bethel Northside
Leesa Kelley, Hematology Oncology Associates of CNY

Anika Stewart, Witness Project of Long Island
Gwendolyn Muok, Syracuse Onondaga County NAACP Heather Butts, H.E.A.L.T.H. For Youths
Nancy Aureli, BS, RN, Community Living Advocates
Katrina DeLeeJones, Shades Of Inspiration Inc.
Al-amin Muhammad, We Rise Above The Streets Recovery Outreach
Christy Harvey, VNS Health
Shirley Leyro, Birth Justice Defenders
Julissa Figueroa, Morris Heights Health Center
Merlene Smith-Sotillo, Sickle Cell Awareness Foundation Corp. International
Frieda Weeks, Hope for Heather
Raheela Aslam, New Life Minority Human Rights Council Inc. Tanisha Franks, Mothers Against Senseless Killings Staten Island (M.A.S.K)
Carlos Martin, VIP Services
Rosanna Santana, S&A Unified Home Care
Gabriela Silverio, Bridge Builders
Miguel Rios, Safe Horizon
Marileidy Pimentel, We Act
Iliana Almanzar, LiveOnNY
Catalina Mendiola, NYC Children ACS
Elizabeth Gostev
Raymond Luebbert, SOFSA
Rebecca Garofano, Syracuse City School District
Katie Tastrom
Mable Wilson, Syracuse Grows
Lisa Hart, MSEd, BSN, RN, CCM, CHES, Syracuse Housing Authority
Dr. Daniel Ryan
Charles Anderson, 100 Black Men of Syracuse
Dr. Oliver Durrah, Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic (NTAC)
Amy Grover, Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists
Aggie Lane, Urban Jobs Task Force
Camryn Corbett, Syracuse-Onondaga Food Systems Alliance Mary Carney, Mary Carney Consulting
Jessica Miller, Kitchen Literacy Project

John Williams, New Creation Ministries Inc
Iola Washington, Empowering Women and Young Girls Service Center
Anita A Bono, Cornell Cooperative Extension Onondaga County
Juanita McClain, Sickle Cell Warriors of Buffalo
Nolan Reeves, Salt City Harvest Farm
Jessi Lyons, Brady Faith Center
Holly Lowery-Davis, Soma Coach Holly LLC
Kirby Briggs, Kirby’s Korner Inc.
Winnifred Grant, Women’s Empowerment Inc.
James Moise, Hike & Meditate
Merlene Smith-Sotillo, Sickle Cell Awareness Foundation Corp. International
Anthony Joiner, In the Beginning Outreach Inc.
Robin Kelly, Moriah City Community Food Pantry
Karen Aguilar, The Salvation Army, Jamaica Queens
Jesse Scott, Word of Life Ministries Inc.
Leah Angel Daniel, Fostering Greatness Inc.
Charlene Batts, Unity & Family Opportunity. Inc
Allyson Martinez, Brooklyn Level Up
Rebecca Garden
Belkys De Leon, Spanish Action League of Onondaga County Claire L. Walker, AIM Independent Living Center/OASAS Programs
Nathaly Rubio-Torio, Voces Latinas
Silvia Ross, Health, Life & Love Inc.
Maria Ponce Sevilla, Transnational Villages Network – Red de Pueblos Trasnacionales
Rhonda Vesey, Food Access Healthy Neighborhoods Now! (FAHNN)
Melanie Littlejohn, Central New York Community Foundation Monique Fitzgerald, Long Island Progressive Coalition
Mariana Lopez, Centro Comunitaro Hispano
Gladys Jennerjahn, AIDS Center of Queens County
Judith Flores, MD
Ciara McGillivray, The Father Laurence (Larry) Tracy Advocacy Center, Inc.
Liliana Melo, Political Organizer