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Richmond University Medical Center Voices Its Opposition to Medicaid Funding Cuts

March 14, 2019 – Yesterday, Richmond University Medical Center president and CEO, Dr. Daniel J. Messina, joined over 50 hospital employees and members of the state’s largest health care union, 1199SEIU, to bring attention to the impact of pending Medicaid cuts on the hospital and on healthcare services across the state. Dr. Messina was joined by Ken Raske, president and CEO of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA).

Citing a loss of revenue due to the federal tax cuts, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced reduced state spending on Medicaid by $550 million in the upcoming state budget. The actual cut to healthcare facilities across the state would be over $1 billion because of federal matching funds. “For us to continue to meet the growing need for our services, we need support, not obstacles, for our continued growth,” Dr. Messina said. “Our goal is to educate Staten Islanders that $1 billion in Medicaid cuts – including $4.1 million to RUMC alone over the next two years – will severely compromise access to care on Staten Island.”

Raske urged those in attendance to join him in Albany on March 19 for a rally as GNYHA and 1199 continue to focus public attention on the impact of these cuts on healthcare facilities across New York State. Raske said that he would “take the fight to Albany, then it’s on to Washington.”

Messina expressed his gratitude to the State Senate and Assembly, as well as Staten Island’s state legislators. Earlier in the day, both the Senate and Assembly included restoration of the $550 million in their budget proposals. Messina also praised the Governor who has been a major supporter of hospital and healthcare providers across the state. The decision to make cuts at the state level was “a response to a larger-than-expected budget deficit caused by harmful federal policies,” Messina said.

In addition to Messina and Raske, Ebony O’Neal spoke about the importance of ensuring local hospitals had the financial support they needed to continue helping the growing need for their services. O’Neal is a stage 4 cancer survivor. She and her daughter have been patients of Richmond University Medical Center and utilize its walk-in center on Forest Avenue for primary medical care services. “When I hear about people possibly losing services, I think back to how hopeless I felt when I was diagnosed. These cuts can’t happen,” she said.

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Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), is a not-for-profit healthcare provider serving the ethnically diverse community of Staten Island and its neighbors. They provide premier-quality patient care through a full spectrum of emergent, acute, primary, behavioral health and educational services. RUMC does this in an environment that promotes the highest satisfaction among patients, families, physicians and staff.