Restore $87 Million in Operations Funding to SUNY's State-Operated Teaching Hospitals
As a constituent who cares deeply about public higher education at the State University of New York (SUNY), I am writing to strongly urge you to restore the $87 million in operating funds to SUNY's three public teaching hospitals in Brooklyn, Stony Brook and Syracuse.
The hospitals are being forced to function with a massive reduction in their operating funds due to the state eliminating long-standing support in the 2018-19 budget. This crucial state support was not restored in the 2020-21 New York State Executive Budget proposal.
It is imperative that these funds be reinstated.
The hospitals rely on this aid — which was at $153 million a decade ago — to fund their medical schools and offset employee fringe benefits and debt service expenditures of nearly $200 million annually. SUNY's academic medical centers, unlike any other state entity, are required to cover those costs.
The operating funds are also used to help cover costs associated with caring for a large number of underinsured and uninsured patients. The hospitals' ability to provide state-of-the-art health care to their patients will be jeopardized without the subsidy.
SUNY's hospitals are known as hospitals of last resort. They accept all patients, regardless of whether they can afford to pay for care. That is their purpose; our public, nonprofit hospitals treat 1.3 million patients each year. The care, treatment and safety of these patients is a direct state responsibility.
Our hospitals also serve as vital teaching hospitals, providing affordable medical education to student doctors and medical professionals. SUNY's public hospitals are a vital pipeline of doctors and medical staff to New York City and the state.
I ask that $87 million be restored in the state budget for a hospital operating fund for SUNY's three public teaching hospitals.
Thank you for your consideration of this very important issue. I respectfully ask that you bring up this issue with your conference and I would greatly appreciate a response to this letter. Sincerely,
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