For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Silk, 518.782.9400, ext 224
LATHAM, Feb. 1, 2011 - The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is deeply concerned with Governor Cuomo’s proposed cuts of nearly $3 billion to Medicaid services in the Executive State Budget 2011-12 and fears that the size and scope of these cuts will severely impact patient safety in facilities throughout New York state.
“While the Nurses Association appreciates the need to rein in spending and combat abuse of Medicaid, we cannot sacrifice our state’s most vulnerable population – the indigent and elderly – to do so. The size of the proposed cuts could mean staffing reductions that adversely affect patient care,” said Nurses Association CEO Tina Gerardi, MS, RN, CAE.
The nursing profession continues to endure dangerous shortages across the state and nationwide. One of the causes of this shortage is a lack of qualified educators to teach the next generation of nurses.
The Nurses Association commends the Governor’s commitment to higher education with respect to the extension of the Patricia McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship Program, the Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Program, and funding for State University and City University programs, all of which are essential to supporting the nursing workforce.
The choices that are made today will have drastic consequences for the future health of New York’s citizens for years to come. Cuts to health care are not the answer to the state’s overwhelming fiscal crisis.
We urge the Governor and state legislature to consider reinstating the income tax surcharge on the wealthiest New Yorkers and implementing the sugar-sweetened beverage tax as alternatives to devastating healthcare cuts that will severely impact patient care.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state's largest professional association and union for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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