NEW YORK – The Medicaid Redesign Team will be scoring 49 different proposals that aim to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve health outcomes in the Medicaid system. After review, the deadline for making recommendations to Governor Cuomo is March 1st. There are several proposals of the 49 that seek to restructure the prescription drug benefit. We at the Latino Commission on AIDS understand that Medicaid needs to be redesign to reduce the cost in order to reduce the giant deficit that we face in New York State. We also believe that there are many areas that need improvement. However, we are concerned with any changes that may limit access to prescription medications that are necessary for Medicaid beneficiaries.
Over 50% of Medicaid enrollees in New York are people of color, and any limitations would disproportionately affect access to necessary and important health care for the most vulnerable communities. While we believe that the Medicaid Redesign Team can make smart recommendations on reductions that will benefit the Medicaid program, we must continue to work to protect the life saving treatment and care that is vital to communities of color in New York. Anti-retrovirals, immunosuppressants, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotics are critical in improving health outcomes of patients and reduce hospitalizations.
ABOUT THE LATINO COMMISSION ON AIDS
The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino/Hispanic communities. The Commission is the leading national Latino AIDS organization coordinating National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and other prevention and advocacy programs in more than 40 States and Puerto Rico.