Albany, NY — After being denied the opportunity to speak at a legislative budget hearing, Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy at the Empire Center, posted video of the testimony he had hoped to deliver along with his full written comments on the health-care portions of Governor Hochul’s proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2023.  

In his live testimony, Hammond had intended to highlight key shortcomings of the governor’s budget, including its lack of a plan to investigate the state’s pandemic response and its failure to invest in public health defenses. Hammond outlined these recommendations in his submitted written testimony, as well as his 2020 Hindsight report.

“In the aftermath of the pandemic, two health policy challenges stand out for New York: bolstering our public health defenses to stop the next virus, and downsizing a Medicaid system that became temporarily swollen during the crisis. Unfortunately, the governor’s proposed budget is mostly silent on both fronts – and includes proposals that are likely to make things worse,” said Hammond in his written testimony. 

“Disappointingly, Governor Hochul’s budget makes no provision for studying one of the worst disasters in state history… Hochul also shortchanges public health in terms of spending. Even as she allocates billions more to the already well-financed medical system, which cares for people one at a time, she makes no significant investment in preventive systems that protect the population as a whole – which is what ‘public health’ originally meant and which used to be the dominant purpose of the Health Department.” 

The full written testimony can be read here. 

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family. 

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