Governor Cuomo has positioned himself on the podium as a national leader in a time of global crisis. But as our state hurtles into the global center-point of the pandemic, we’re also fast-approaching our state budget deadline on April 1. And behind the closed doors of budget negotiations at the Capitol, Governor Cuomo is pushing for cuts to Medicaid.
Medicaid provides critical healthcare funding for many New Yorkers and children, but it is also essential to helping kids learn. It promotes health equity through reimbursements for health services that are offered in schools, including key special education services — programs that are already facing enormous stress and challenges as schools across the state close their doors.
Governor Cuomo put together a team of his allies to propose Medicaid cuts back in January, before COVID-19 hit our state. That team proposed the $2.5 billion in cuts just last week as the state was grappling with the pandemic on almost lockdown. Now he wants to push those cuts through in the state budget in just a few days, despite the health crisis we are in. Communities and schools that rely on Medicaid are already receiving far too little funding. These cuts would have a devastating impact on Black, Brown and low-income families and students that rely on these services all across the state.
Yesterday, Congress approved the largest stimulus package in our nation’s history, including more than $150 billion in healthcare funding and $30 billion in emergency education funding. The truth is that even the stimulus package will not be enough, due to ballooning costs amidst this pandemic. But that does not change this fact: New York’s most vulnerable communities and students cannot and should not be the ones footing the bill for this crisis. New York has more billionaires and millionaires than ever before.