Access to healthcare has been a major issue in the United States for many years. The debate about the kind of services that are made available to people and how much it costs continues to be a key concern for millions of Americans. New York State is no exception to this, as New Yorkers routinely pay millions of dollars for proper care.

While many folks are lucky to be in the position to be able to afford private health insurance, some in the Empire State aren't able to and need to rely on government-supported health insurance like Medicare and Medicaid. It's good that programs like these exist, but they're not without their problems.

One of the primary concerns and complaints about the Medicaid Program in New York is the amount of money that is spent by the State Government. On one hand, New York spends more money on Medicaid than nearly every other state in the country, costing taxpayers more than $90 billion annually.

Read More: New York Spends More Money On This Than Nearly Any Other State

On the other hand, health advocates and medical providers are concerned that not all of the money is allocated to property as the Medicaid program routinely underpays for services when compared to its cost. Those served being underfunded have a secondary impact by causing some medical providers to not accept medicaid for payment or to remove their services from the neighborhood.

To help people understand these issues a community forum is being planned to help folks understand the concerns and inequities that exist in New York.

You're Invited To The East Side Forum on Medicaid Funding & Healthcare Inequities

According to the Office of the New York State Comptroller's 2023 Financial Condition Report, New York spent more than $92 billion in Medicaid benefits to state residents. As of March 2023, more than 9 million New Yorkers, nearly half of the state's population, received Medicaid benefits last year.

Advocates worry that if Medicaid continues to be underfunded as it has, it will cause even more negative health outcomes in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods.

East Side Forum on Medicaid Funding & Healthcare Inequities
East Side Forum on Medicaid Funding & Healthcare Inequities

To help raise awareness on these issues, several community groups are hosting a forum to discuss this and other concerns and asking the public to get involved.

The East Side Forum on Medicaid Funding & Healthcare Inequities, co-hosted by 1199SEIU, CWA, Healthcare Education Project, NY Alliance for Healthcare Justice, NAACP Buffalo Chapter, and Buffalo Masten District Council Member Zeneta Everhart, is set to happen on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at the Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Brand Library at 1324 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.

The forum is scheduled to start at 3 pm, and leaders from around the community will educate and seek input from the public to seek solutions.

If you have any questions about this event, please feel free to contact Peter DeJesus, Jr at 716-449-0168.

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