Prominent leaders in the Black community urged state officials in a letter on Tuesday to not move forward with a change in the Medicaid program that could lead to higher costs for prescription drugs.
A state panel recommending cost savings for the Medicaid program proposed a carve out that is meant to save $87 million. But the concern for advocates is this will lead to higher purchasing prices for drugs that provide treatments to people with illness like HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis C.
The changes are set to take effect April 1.
But there has been calls to reverse the carve out. The letter released on Tuesday was backed by New York NAACP President Hazel Dukes, as well as the Naitonal Action Network.
"As we have witnessed, first hand, communities of color have disproportionately born out the impact of COVID and its reverberations," they wrote in the letter. "This proposed change will add additional healthcare, fiscal and social burdens and further exacerbate those presently ravaging our cities and state. We implore you to re-evaluate this proposed change as you consider its impending harm to already vulnerable, and at risk, individuals, families and communities."