1199SEIU lauds Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address

January 17, 2019

New York, NY- As healthcare has become the center of state and national attention, 1199SEIU is pleased to note that a number of healthcare concerns were important parts of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address. Union members paid close attention to the amount of the proposed annual increase in the Medicaid budget. 1199SEIU President George Gresham noted that the increase is crucial for providing quality care to vulnerable New Yorkers. “On behalf of the 450,000 members of 1199SEIU who work hard every day to provide quality care, I thank Governor Cuomo for proposing a fair increase in the Medicaid budget. Safety net healthcare providers around our state continue to struggle to keep their doors open for their communities in the face of stagnant reimbursement rates and Washington’s attack on our health care. These additional dollars will help maintain crucial access to quality care.” 

President Gresham also praised the Governor for touching on several other issues that impact healthcare for New Yorkers. They include establishing a commission on universal access to healthcare and protecting and expanding access to reproductive health. Union members also strongly support the Governor’s proposed legislation that would enhance quality and safety in nursing homes, giving the Department of Health the authority to place an independent quality monitor in poorly performing nursing homes, enhancing transparency and strengthening oversight over nursing homes and adult care facilities, and imposing more stringent penalties for violations. Also of note is combatting racial disparities in maternal mortality by offering training on preventing racial bias in healthcare, expanding the community healthcare worker program and establishing a Maternal Mortality Review Board. Finally, the series of initiatives to further combat opioid addiction by increasing access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), eliminating even more insurance barriers to accessing care and increasing prevention efforts, is a key advance.  

In all, we see Governor Cuomo’s 2019 State of the State address as a win-win for our members, and residents of the Empire State.