HWCLI’s 2019 Advocacy Priorities were identified through surveys completed by HWCLI’s network of non-profit agencies providing feedback. Thank you to all of you who participated. While this list is far from exhaustive, these are the priorities that network agencies most consistently prioritized for 2019. HWCLI looks forward to working with each of you as we put together action plans for each priority area.

back Ensure a Complete Census Count on Long Island.

Provide $40 million in funding to community based organizations across New York State to conduct Census outreach and education in communities. In order to maximize participation and avoid an undercount in 2020, the New York community-based organizations need funding to step up their outreach and education to ensure every New Yorker knows the importance of filling out the Census. Because of their earned trust and cultural and language competence, community groups are uniquely positioned to reach the hardest-to-count areas. They also can encourage the critical institutions they have strong relationships with, like hospitals and schools, to ensure more New Yorkers are included in the count.

back Provide insurance coverage for New Yorkers who remain uninsured.

The state should allocate $542 million to create a state-funded Essential Plan for anyone up to 200% of the federal poverty level, regardless of immigration status. This would include immigrants who will be losing their Temporary Protected Status and therefore their current health insurance eligibility, as well as other immigrants who are currently not eligible for insurance. Given potential changes to public charge regulations at the federal level, which will impact the number of immigrants enrolling in federally-funded benefit programs, the state should continue its commitment to ensuring that all immigrants are eligible for health insurance if their income is below 200% of the FPL.

back Promote health equity in the implementation of Value-Based Payment arrangements in NYS.

The State has begun to implement specific requirements in Value Based Payment arrangements and has invested in regional planning efforts to encourage Community Based Organization collaboration and capacity to engage a value-based system. These efforts must be continued and enhanced to ensure success and eventually promote health equity in communities across the state. Provide $5 million dollars in Community Based Organization Implementation Grant Funding for each region across the state.

back Mental Health
  • Ensure transparency and accountability in New York when it comes to measuring insurers and health plan’s compliance with federal and state Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Parity parity laws.
  • The NYS budget is continuing a strong commitment to behavioral health parity with several million dollars being dedicated to enhancing staff at the Department of Financial Services and the Department of Health dedicated to network adequacy and reviewing existing health plans to ensure compliance with parity. Additional attention by New York State is needed on the Non-Quantitative Treatment Limits which continues to be a major reason for denial as well as network adequacy on Long Island where suburban sprawl across a large region continues to limit access to services.
back Early Childhood Policy.
  • Ensure generous eligibility for families to qualify for assistance provided at fair levels and ensure assistance is provided at fair levels.
  • All low-income and middle-income New York families that need childcare should qualify for, and continue receiving support until they have gained financial stability. Equitable aid is provided to all low- and middle-income working for families. While the assistance for families can vary in amount and type according to income level or other factors, it is essential that the assistance is provided such that it can be utilized by all families that need it to access quality care. It is essential to ensure that providers are reimbursed or contracted at levels that reflect the true cost of care so they are not discouraged from enrolling families that receive state support, can offer high-quality care, and can pay teachers fair wages and reduce turnover. New funding mechanisms to support quality childcare are identified. The State cannot make significant strides toward expanding access to quality childcare to all families that need it without identifying and dedicating new funds for childcare. Data is gathered and systems established to enable the State to track and evaluate relevant data related to childcare.
  • Advocacy in Action:
    Letter to Commissioner Reardon.
    Letter to Budget Directory Mujica.
    Public Charge Commenting.

Join us in creating a future for Long Island in which everyone has an equal opportunity to prosper and thrive.

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Established in 1947, the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI) is a regional, nonprofit umbrella organization for health and human service providers. We are dedicated to improving the lives of Long Island’s most vulnerable residents by responding to their needs through the promotion and development of public policies and direct services.

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