Good Samaritan health care workers join statewide rallies for $2.5B more in Hochul's state budget
Health care workers in Rockland County and across New York rallied Wednesday to call for more money in the upcoming state budget.
Health care workers made noise outside of Good Samaritan Hospital Wednesday, hoping their voices in Suffern reached state lawmakers in Albany
"We've suffered enough as employees, patients and communities," says Good Samaritan respiratory therapist Charlotte Savoury. "So now it's time for her to give back, so we're here to make some noise for that."
Savoury is one of dozens who went out to Route 59 on their break at work, and they are among several rallies that have happened at health care facilities across New York. They and 199SEIU are calling on state lawmakers to invest $2.5 billion in health care for the 2024 budget.
They are specifically asking for a 10% increase in Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and 20% for nursing homes, which they say will allow for more people to be hired and to offer better wages.
The union says the current budget is proposing 5% reimbursements and taking away $700 million in safety net hospital funding, facilities that are required to treat people regardless of insurance and ability to pay.
A spokesperson for the Greater New York Hospital Association told News 12, "Hospital workers have a right to have their voices heard on the state budget, and the entire hospital community strongly supports a state budget that adequately funds the Medicaid program."
Today's event comes two weeks after nearly 15,000 members of the 1199SEIU union held the largest rally in decades in Albany, claiming that Hochul's proposed budget would have a severe impact on access to health care in New York's most vulnerable communities.
The governor's office responded in a statement, saying, "Governor Hochul's Executive Budget makes transformative investments to make New York more affordable, more livable and safer, and she continues to work with the legislature to deliver a final budget that meets the needs of all New Yorkers."
The budget deadline has been extended to April 10.