Members of 32BJ and elected officials rallied at 165th and Washington Avenue outside NewYork-Presbyterian Thursday morning where they unveiled a new ad campaign which admonishes the hospital for what the union calls “exorbinant” healthcare costs for workers.
Treading ground back to the pandemic’s inception and the well-documented shutdown the deadly virus wrought, speakers reaffirmed it was workers who kept the Big Apple alive during the darkest of times and most difficult of struggles. As we edge closer to a post COVID-19 world, Assemblymember Amanda Septimo charged that workers can no longer be exploited with the world now knowing how essential they are.
“Because we are in a moment of rebuilding in New York. We get to decide what the future of the city and state is going to be. And we are here to say we will not go back to a city and state that treats workers like they don’t matter, that treats workers like they’re expendable, because we know that nothing here happens without workers,” Septimo said.
According to Union President Kyle Bragg who stood surrounded by signs in the shadow of the medical facility on Dec. 2, 32BJ Health Fund–New York State’s fourth largest healthcare purchaser–participants will no longer be an in-network provider of NewYork-Presbyterian as of Jan. 1, 2021, something Bragg says will affect more than 100,000 members.
This campaign officially announced their relationship severance with the hospital in order to safeguard 32Bj Health Fund’s future to provide high quality care, bargaining power for higher wages, and pension benefits. Bragg shared that after the Fund conducted extensive research, they found NewYork-Presbyterian to consistently overcharge for routine procedures compared to other hospitals within the metropolitan area.
“Today we say enough is enough. We say no. And will continue to fight until we all have access to high quality hospitals with fair pricing,” Bragg said.
Additionally, advocates at the rally state that NewYork-Presbyterian has requested they stop offering assistance programs at the hospital’s local competitors, such as maternity care and joint replacement surgeries. Members of 32BJ are warning all that NewYork-Presbyterian should be avoided at all costs.
The rally also unveiled an advertisement campaign at a bus stop outside the hospital, that looks to remind New Yorkers of the rising costs.
amNewYork Metro reached out to New York-Presbyterian for comment and is awaiting their response.