Governor Hochul takes office at a critical time for our state. The COVID-19 pandemic over the last year and a half underscores the stark inequalities that persist in our healthcare system. To support LGBTQ communities, communities of color, and other populations disproportionately impacted by poor health outcomes, including higher rates of COVID-19 and HIV, we cannot overstate the necessity of investing in Medicaid.
Medicaid plays a vital role in addressing health disparities and breaking down barriers to accessing health care. Much of the progress New York has made in our effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic is thanks to Medicaid, which provides care to more than 60,000 New Yorkers living with HIV.
In addition to supporting Assembly Member Bronson’s efforts to preserve and strengthen the 340B program, which supports community-based health providers and the Medicaid managed care health plans they work with, the governor must also ensure that New Yorkers of transgender and gender non-conforming experience have access to the life-changing, gender-affirming care they need to thrive, which will support the goals of ending the HIV epidemic and realizing a healthier New York.
Doug Wirth is the President and CEO of Amida Care, New York’s largest Medicaid Special Needs Plan designed for New Yorkers affected by HIV.