Senator Parker Says Historic Healthcare Budget Delivers Savings While Protecting Patients, Communities, Hospitals And Nursing Homes

Kevin S. Parker

April 16, 2007

Streamline enrollment for 900,000 Medicaid-eligible uninsured adults and children to ease the enrollment and re-certification process, thus reducing gaps in coverage that had people cycling off and on insurance coverage;

Enact a false claims act to strengthen the state's Medicaid anti-fraud capabilities;

“Compared to previous budget cycles, our members took a more active role this session in shaping policy that ultimately led to a much better budget, Senator Parker said. e fought hard to keep the focus on patients and expanding access to comprehensive health care in our communities. I especially proud of that.

Senator Parker also said the reform-minded budget is just the beginning of a much greater dialogue, one that seeks to close the health disparities in our poorer communities, cut the cost of prescription drugs for our seniors, and require drug companies to disclose all gifts made to doctors.

Iknow many New Yorkers are worried about what lies ahead for health care, Senator Parker said.While I fully understand their concerns, I also believe reform provides unparalleled opportunities, particularly for our medically under-served communities. How can we not want to fix a system that allows 400,000 children to go without access to basic medical care?

We have our work cut out for us, not only in better managing medical costs but also in building a better system of compassionate care, he concluded. ut if my colleagues and I can eliminate systemic waste without imperiling health care while, in fact, improving patient care then we will have done right by our friends, neighbors, and loved ones.