Governor Cuomo Announces Support for Proposed Rule Changes to Federal Title X Program that Would Restore Program’s Mission to Provide Effective Reproductive Health Services to Underserved Populations
Proposed Rule Changes to Title X Program Would Ensure Family Planning Services are Patient-Centered, Equitable and Affordable
New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced support for the proposed changes to the federal Title X Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published on April 15, 2021. New York announced in September 2019 that rather than accept the previous administration’s federal funding conditioned on limiting the options of patients and medical professionals, New York would withdraw from the federal Title X program and continue supporting the state’s family planning program with State funding. These long awaited updates, which ensure that Title X services are patient-centered, equitable and affordable for the populations in greatest need of safety net family planning services, will soon allow New York to re-enter the program.
“The proposed changes to the Title X program signal a welcome change in federal policy since the last administration, which had made it its goal to turn back the clock and dismantle the progress that was achieved over decades,” Governor Cuomo said. “As always, New York will continue to be a beacon of progress and a leader in access to family planning services. We look forward to reentering Title X and upholding its mission to deliver critical services to all who need them.”
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “New York State has a long and proud history of protecting the reproductive rights of all New Yorkers and that includes ensuring access to essential health safety net services are not limited by outdated and harmful restrictions. We are pleased to offer comments that will enable New York to partner once again with HHS to resume our work in support of the reproductive health needs of New Yorkers.”
For decades, NYSDOH oversaw one of the largest and most complex networks of Title X agencies in the nation. Through its New York State Family Planning Program, NYSDOH successfully administered its Title X grant in compliance with all federal statutes and regulations. Today, despite withdrawing from the federal Title X program in 2019, the NYSFPP continues to provide services to approximately 300,000 clients each year; nearly two-thirds of people served have incomes under 100% of the Federal Poverty Level , and many utilize the family planning clinic as their primary source of health care.
NYSDOH was able to maintain stability in its statewide family planning network through the infusion of state funds to replace federal funding. Should the proposed regulations be implemented, NYSDOH would seek to re-enter the Title X network by applying for funding to support experienced long-standing providers of reproductive health care across the state, and seek to expand geographic coverage and access to areas to address gaps in services.