Governor Kathy Hochul put public health at the forefront of her State of the State address and in her priorities for 2022. It is clear that the governor and her administration understand that significant investment in public health – from critical investment in public health infrastructure, increased health care affordability to supporting the health care workforce – is necessary to accelerate an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, reduce health disparities, and foster a healthier state.
Many of the Governor’s policy priorities are critically important to the communities we serve. In particular, we applaud the governor’s pledge to reinforce reproductive health access by using Title X replacement funding to support to the Family Planning Program, which is more necessary than ever as reproductive rights are under attack across the country. We also welcome her commitment to improving and expanding access to prenatal and postnatal care, such as extending Medicaid to include a year of postpartum coverage for new mothers. There is a distressing disparity in health outcomes between Black and white mothers and babies, and these measures would go far to ensuring all mothers and children have access to the healthcare they need.
Across the board, the administration’s investment in community-based organizations and the social drivers of health will strengthen the services that our participants access through our community resource networks. Finally, we are also thrilled to see the Governor commit to a 5.4% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), retention bonuses and more investments for the human services workforce, a majority of whom are women and people of color, and who have kept New York City strong through the pandemic and long before.
As the largest public health nonprofit serving NYC, we look forward to working with the Governor and her administration to ensure that all New Yorkers can live their healthiest and fullest lives.