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Public Health Director Kruppa Addresses State Budget Committees

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Public Health Director Kruppa Addresses State Budget Committees

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa addressed the New York State Legislature’s Joint Legislative Committees on Health and Finance, and Ways and Means regarding health officials’ budget concerns for the upcoming State fiscal year, as part of the committees’ review of Governor Cuomo’s 2016-17 Executive Budget.

Appearing January 25, Director Kruppa provided verbal and written testimony in his role as vice president of the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO).

Referring to the wide range of public health challenges that local health officials have faced over the past year, Mr. Kruppa noted, “Whenever public health challenges emerge, your local health officials are ready to spring into action to protect New York’s residents and communities. You expect your public health departments to have the capacity to rise to the occasions that none of us can predict. Local health departments have done their best to be responsive, even as state funding for local health departments has been significantly reduced.”

The never-ending emergence of public health challenges and threats, coupled with “nicks and cuts to funding,” has reduced state support for local health departments and eroded the foundation of New York State’s local public health infrastructure, he said. This comes as incentives are offered elsewhere through Medicaid Redesign to keep individuals on Medicaid out of the hospital through prevention and health education.

In considering the Executive Budget, Mr. Kruppa, on behalf of the Association, urged the Legislature to strengthen the foundation for local public health by increasing both Base Grant funding for local health departments under Article 6 of the Public Health Law, and the state aid reimbursement rate for additional local public health work. He requested a 2% increase in the rate, to 38%. The Association estimates that only another $2 million would be necessary to achieve those financial goals, beyond the $8.6 million appropriation increase already contained in the Governor’s budget,.

Health officials, he said, support Executive budget proposals related to the Early Intervention program, and provisions for increased regulation of retail medical clinics.

“We look forward to continuing our work with both the Legislative and Executive branches to serve the essential public health needs of the people of New York State,” Director. Kruppa said.