Advocates make final push for gun violence prevention plan

Supporters of a measure that would expand Medicaid coverage to include gun violence prevention programs are making a final push for the proposal in the waning hours of the legislative session. 

Lawmakers are potentially wrapping up their work this weekend as they seek to finish out the legislative session for the year. 

Under the proposal, a Medicaid beneficiary who has been involved in or injured by community violence and has received a health care referral would be eligible. 

A coalition of advocacy organizations in a letter late Friday urged Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to put the bill on the floor for a vote in the coming days.

“This is also a matter of racial justice. Black Americans are 10 times more likely than white Americans to die by gun homicide, and far more likely to be wounded by gun violence,” the groups wrote in the letter. “We are therefore proud that the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus has recognized this as being vital legislation to pass by including it in their 2023 legislative session priorities.”

Singing onto the effort include a range of groups backing stricter gun laws, including Giffords and Brady United as well as Citizen Action of New York and Housing Works. 

California, Connecticut and Illinois have been granted similar approval to use Medicaid for violence prevention programs. 

Read More: Advocates make final push for gun violence prevention plan

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