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Governor’s State of the State

In the Governor’s State of the State, we wanted to flag that she is proposing a ban on all flavored tobacco products and a $1 cigarette tax increase (page 110) which we would expect to see in her Executive Budget released later this month.

Also we wanted to highlight the below proposals on Expanding Access to Primary Care:

Expand Access to Primary Care

New Yorkers in underserved communities are much less likely to access primary care, and New York’s rural areas have almost 80 percent fewer primary care providers per capita than urban areas.65 This lack of primary care leads to poor health outcomes and higher costs. In fact, almost 50 percent of all emergency department visits in New York State could have been treated with primary care, and even more could have been avoided.66. These costs hit the state particularly hard: Medicaid enrollees are significantly more likely to visit the emergency department than those with commercial insurance.

Governor Hochul will support evidence-based interventions to improve access to primary care for Medicaid enrollees and reduce preventable hospitalizations and emergency room visits by:

  • Increasing overall Medicaid reimbursement rates for all primary care.
  • Ensuring Medicaid coverage of primary and urgent care within the shelter system, which is expected to help tens of thousands of New Yorkers facing housing insecurity to access care.
  • Expanding Medicaid coverage of community health workers to help hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers navigate health and social services.
  • Increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates for school-based health centers, which increase access to primary care and other health services for children and their families.
  • Supporting the integration of primary and mental health care through several initiatives, including allowing Medicaid reimbursement for additional types of licensed mental health providers in community health centers, establishing a working group on integrated care, and relaxing licensure restrictions for Article 28, 31, and 32 facilities — such as hospitals,outpatient clinics, and behavioral health clinics.

And here are the Governor’s State of the State proposals on expanded access to reproductive health services:

Protecting Reproductive Rights and Access

Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York will continue to be a safe haven for all those seeking abortion care and will implement policies to further expand access to contraception and improve maternal health outcomes. Governor Hochul will:

Increase Reimbursement Rates for Reproductive Health Providers

Governor Hochul has made nation-leading investments in reproductive health care, including the creation of a groundbreaking Abortion Provider Support Fund in 2022. While other states have banned abortion and shut down clinics, New York’s reproductive health care system, including family planning clinics and abortion care providers are facing unprecedented pressure. To address this challenge, Governor Hochul will increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for reproductive health providers.

Implement Over-The-Counter Contraception Access

Governor Hochul will propose legislation to expand access to hormonal contraception by allowing pharmacists to directly prescribe such medications.
This will align New York with the other 20 other states that allow for pharmacist-prescribed hormonal contraception. Pharmacist prescribing will help address access disparities for marginalized populations, who are more likely to live closer to a pharmacy than a physician’s office.

Safeguard Abortion Access through Data Privacy Protections

Governor Hochul will propose legislation to protect the personal data, including location history and search history, of anyone who seeks abortion care in New York.

Ensure Abortion Access at Public College Campuses

Students at SUNY and CUNY deserve comprehensive access to reproductive health care, including abortion services. That is why Governor Hochul will ensure all public colleges and universities in the SUNY and CUNY systems either offer medication abortion in their college health centers or establish a relationship with a local reproductive health care provider to directly refer students to a trusted facility for abortion services, an approach that will improve students’ access to abortion while allowing institutions to meet their needs in the way that best fits their campus infrastructure.

Enact the Equal Rights Amendment

In July 2022, the New York State Legislature passed a resolution in support of the state Equal Rights Amendment, the first step toward amending the New York State Constitution to protect abortion rights. Governor Hochul will work with legislators to pass the resolution a second time so that it may go to the voters on the ballot in 2024.