WBLS, Hot 97, radio stations, New York City, Medicaid

New York Radio Stations Hot 97 And WBLS Partner With 1199 Healthcare Union To Advocate For Medicaid Equity

Hot97 and WBLS have partnered with America's largest healthcare union to advocate for Medicaid equity in New York.

Famed New York City radio stations Hot 97 and WBLS are teaming with America’s largest healthcare union to raise awareness on issues related to Medicaid equity.

MediaCo Holding, the parent company of Hot 97 and WBLS, announced its partnership with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East to advocate for healthcare equity for Medicaid patients and workers.

The announcement followed 1199SEIU President George Gresham’s radio appearance where he explained the severe underfunding of Medicaid programs that highlights the disparity in payments between Medicaid patients and privately insured patients.

Research shows that hospitals in New York’s Medicaid program are paid 30% less than the actual cost of care they provide. The hospitals in New York have been struggling financially more than facilities in the rest of the U.S., with 63% having an operating deficit in 2021.

With over seven million people protected by Medicaid in New York, the need for increased funding is crucial. The underpayments continue to create barriers to the health coverage of mothers, children, families, seniors, and people with disabilities. There is also a growing multi-billion dollar funding gap that weakens hospitals, nursing homes, and healthcare providers in Black and Latino neighborhoods.

Last month, rappers Jadakiss and Jim Jones joined Hot 97 radio personality Funk Flex at the Manhattan East Village Rally for Medicaid Equity to advance the conversation.

“Me being a kid growing up on Medicaid, I know how important these hospitals are,” Jones told a crowd of healthcare workers, faith leaders, Medicaid patients, and community activists. “So we need the government, and the governor, to put that 30% or so back into Medicaid payments.”

Hot 97 personality TT Torez also joined 199SEIU at the State Capitol for the annual Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus Conference in Albany to advocate for improved resources for hospitals throughout New York.

“We need to make sure that we have the resources for our hospitals!” Torez said. “We need to make sure our senior citizens have the right doctors and medication; we need to make sure our children have the right resources that they need to grow up and be productive members of their classrooms and communities.”

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