Activists at a rally. Sign reads "Save Community Health Centers"

Community Health Centers Rally Across the State

March 24, 2021

Jennifer Johnson-Avril, Housing Works,, 646.732.1573

Rally and Speak-outs Across State Including in Front of Governor Cuomo’s NYC Office

New York– In a statewide Day of Action to Save Community Health Centers that spanned events in NYC, Buffalo, and Rochester Tuesday, March 23rd, providers from New York’s neighborhood community health clinics, patients, and community health advocates held rallies and spoke out against Governor Cuomo’s healthcare hypocrisy as his proposal to destroy the 340B community health care safety net will lead to 32 neighborhood clinic closures, the loss of more than 700 health care jobs, and will put the lives of millions of New Yorkers across every part of the state at risk.

“If the 340B program is not maintained, many patients here in Rochester and across New York State will simply have nowhere to turn. These are not savings that should be made on the backs of the most vulnerable—those who can ill afford these cuts. Especially, in the midst of a global pandemic and economic crisis, which we know has disproportionally impacted people of color. My colleagues and I have called on the governor to reverse his so-called savings plan before it has a devastating and tragic impact on patients,” said Assemblyman Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester).

With only days before the State budget is finalized, the Senate and the Assembly have pushed back against the implementation of the Medicaid Pharmacy Carve-out, emphasizing the need to preserve the 340B community health care safety net. Last week the NYC City Council passed a resolution urging the Governor and Legislature to pass legislation to oppose the Medicaid pharmacy carve-out and preserve the 340B safety net. The city of Albany passed a similar resolution earlier this year.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) have stated their number one priority is healthcare equity for Black, Latinx, and poor New Yorkers, claiming in multiple remarks that racial and economic healthcare disparities were revealed by this crisis. The Governor has made a big show of addressing these disparities and playing the part of a progressive. But health care advocates are clear that Cuomo’s budget proposals will be harmful to City and State public health.

In reality, Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget will take away more than $100M annually from community health centers (CHCs), Ryan White HIV care providers, and safety net hospitals across the state. For decades, Community health centers have understood and worked to address the severity of racial and economic healthcare disparities and are on the frontlines of delivering culturally competent and responsive care to communities that otherwise might not have access.

Neighborhood community health centers are also a vital part of the national COVID-19 vaccination effort, as has recently been stated by President Biden’s administration, so undermining these community health providers at this time will harm New York’s COVID-19 response and go against the Biden administration’s and New York’s commitment to addressing racial health disparities.

Community Health Centers rallied to tell Cuomo: You can’t have healthcare equity while destroying the very organizations that make that equity possible! #DontCutTheNet


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