NYS Seal
New York State Assembly

Committee on Health
Richard N. Gottfried
Committee on Insurance
Alexander B. Grannis

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
10:00 AM
Roosevelt Hearing Room C
Legislative Office Building, 2nd floor Albany

Friday, February 18, 2005
10:00 AM
NYS Assembly Hearing Room 1923
250 Broadway, 19th floor
New York City

Subject: Renewal and Revision of the Health Care Reform Act (HCRA)

Renewal and revision of the Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) will be among the most significant health care issues to be considered by the Legislature during its 2005 session.

HCRA covers a wide range of health care programs. HCRA is a key funding source for: hospital care (including indigent care), Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, Healthy New York and a wide range of public health programs. Several health programs previously funded by general revenue have been fully or partly shifted to HCRA financing. HCRA is primarily funded by surcharges on hospital and clinic patient bills, assessments on health insurers, and tobacco tax related receipts. Revenue from the conversion of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to a for-profit corporation is also earmarked for HCRA but has been held up by pending litigation.

A recent report by the State Comptroller - "The Health Care Reform Act (HCRA), State Fiscal Years 2002-03 and 2003-04" (October 2004) - raised concerns regarding HCRA's financial ability to meet its obligations.

Since HCRA was enacted in 1996, the health care system has changed. Managed care has expanded, a growing number of services are moving from hospitals to non-institutional settings with little or no oversight, hospitals and other health care providers are under serious financial strain and an ever-growing number of New Yorkers are uninsured or without access to health care.

HCRA renewal is an important opportunity for reviewing and reforming how New York organizes and finances health care.

Persons wishing to present testimony or attend should complete the hearing reply form below and return as indicated as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday, February 10th. It is important that the form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to ten minutes in length. All testimony is under oath. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. This request should be made on the reply form or communicated to Committee staff as soon as possible. Ten copies of any written statement should be submitted at the hearing registration table.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the New York State Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Questions about this hearing may be directed to Richard Conti of the Assembly Health Committee staff at 518-455-4941 or contir2@assembly.state.ny.us.

Health Care Reform Act Public Hearing Reply Form - Respond by February 10, 2005

Mail to: Dick Gottfried, 822 LOB, Albany, NY 12248
Or fax to: 518-455-5939

Square I plan to testify at the February 16 Albany hearing.

Square I plan to attend, but not testify at, the February 16 Albany hearing.

Square I plan to testify at the February 18 New York City hearing.

Square I plan to attend, but not testify at, the February 18 New York City hearing.

Square I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:


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