A coalition of health care advocacy organizations this week is making a renewed push to reverse a prescription drug change they worry will be harmful to low-income New Yorkers who rely on the Medicaid program. 

At issue has been the years-long battle over a pharmacy benefit "carveout" under the program meant to save money under the costly health care program. 

But the advocates have argued the move will have a detrimental impact on the ability to purchase low-cost drugs to treat illnesses for vulnerable patients with HIV/AIDS, mental health challenges, Hepatitis C as well as uninsured people and immigrants. 

"We write in strong support of New York’s community healthcare system to urge you to announce your intention to reverse the Medicaid pharmacy benefit “carve-out” immediately and include language to undo this harmful proposal in your 2023-24 budget proposal," the coalition Save NY's Safety Net wrote in a letter this week to Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

The change was first put in place under then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and it took effect in 2021. 

Warnings from the coalition have become more dire in recent months, warning the reductions could lead to shortages in the indigent health care field. 

"Many existing facilities will be forced to close completely, and hundreds of frontline community healthcare workers will lose their jobs," the group wrote. "This should not be your legacy. We are concerned for patients receiving treatment for serious chronic conditions who will face certain confusion and treatment disruptions if the dangerous carve-out proceeds."