Monthly Archives: June 2012

Making Our Voices Heard – An Update on the Federal Medicaid Waiver Public Hearing

by Jenny Bright, Intern, Health Justice Program

Thank you to everyone who joined us and testified at the public hearing on June 18 concerning the federal Medicaid waiver amendment!  About 70-80 people attended the public hearing and roughly 50 of them testified.  Jason Helgerson, Medicaid Director, New York State Department of Health, oversaw the public hearing and gave an overview of the Medicaid Redesign Team Waiver Amendment (his presentation and other informational material can be found on the MRT Waiver Website).

NYLPI’s entire HJ team provided testimony during the hearing. Shena Elrington, Director, advocated for transparency during the waiver process and asked that the public be given adequate notice of opportunities for input. Jennifer Swayne, Staff Attorney, discussed the importance of including provisions within the waiver that address barriers to mental health services for children.  Alyssa Aguilera, Community Organizer, spoke about our work in Brooklyn as part of the Save Our Safety Net Campaign and the need to ensure that the waiver amendment helps Brooklyn residents who were badly hurt by the cost-saving measures of the Medicare Redesign Team in 2011.  Finally, Kate Terenzi, Program Assistant, spoke about language access and the need to make subsequent hearings and opportunities for public input accessible to New Yorkers with limited English proficiency.

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Annoucement: Join Us This Monday (6/18/12) at a Public Hearing



Governor Cuomo will file a federal Medicaid waiver that could potentially net $10 billion for funding of health care programs in New York. This money comes as a reward for the “cost saving” measures from the Medicaid Redesign Team’s recommendations in early 2011. Low-income communities of color, immigrant communities, and the health care institutions that they frequent bore the brunt of these cuts. Therefore, we believe waiver money should be prioritized to bolster safety-net institutions, improve access to quality, affordable health care for vulnerable populations, and implement recommendations geared towards eliminating health disparities. You will only be given two minutes to talk so we need to be fast, clear, and to the point.

Join the Save Our Safety Net- Campaign at the NYC public hearing to say:

Save Our Safety Net! More funding for health care in our communities! End health disparities now!

What: Public Hearing on federal Medicaid waiver

When: Monday, June 18, 2012 from 12:30pm – 3:30pm

Where: Bronx Community College, 2155 University Ave, Bronx, NY 10453

You will have the opportunity to sign up to testify on-site. No RSVP needed.

For more information on the waiver and hearings:


Save Our Safety Net – Campaign | | | Call CPHS – 212.246.0803

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A Victory in Combating Segregated Health Care in New York Hospitals

by Jenny Bright, Intern, Health Justice Program

On May 10, we continued our efforts to end segregated health care in New York Hospitals with a hearing before the New York State Assembly Health Committee, chaired by the Honorable Richard N. Gottfried.

The hearing was a major victory in our efforts!  60-70 people showed up to support our Health Equity Bill, A07699, sponsored by New York State Assemblymember Nelson Castro.  Members of the community and community group representatives provided compelling testimony.

Thank you, in particular, to those who helped and participated.  We look forward to continuing to make headway!


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