Action Agenda

Family Planning Funding

In this recession with families facing losses of jobs and benefits, communities increasingly depend on family planning providers for programs and health care services supported by critical state grant funding.

For example, family planning providers have witnessed a steady increase in the number of patients paying out of pocket on a sliding fee scale- a mechanism that is supported by state grants. Even with the available sliding scale, patients have more difficulty paying their share, making the need for grant funds even greater. As federal dollars continue to shrink, state grant funding for these critical and needed family planning programs and services is more important than ever, particularly as New Yorkers seek affordable health care services in these tough economic times.

Comprehensive Sex Education

Seventy-seven (77) percent of New Yorkers support teaching comprehensive sex education in the state’s public schools. Comprehensive sex education is what parents say they want, students say they need, and science says works.

Research shows that comprehensive sex education helps to delay the onset of intercourse; reduce the frequency of intercourse; increase condom and contraception use; and decrease the number of sexual partners of program participants.

Health Benefit Exchange

The Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) is a requirement of the Affordable Care Act. It will serve as a centralized system that eligible individuals, families and small businesses can use to purchase affordable health insurance coverage that meets their needs. Passage of Health Benefit Exchange legislation is critical because building a quality Exchange that meets the needs of New Yorkers takes significant resources and time.

Resources: The legislation is required to secure additional and significant federal grant monies necessary for the state to construct the Exchange.

Time: The Exchange board, whose creation hinges on passage of Exchange legislation, needs to be established to allow for sufficient time to work with existing state agencies to build the Exchange and to develop protocol for interactions with commercial and public health insurance programs.