December 6, 2018
After the midterm flip of the NYS Senate, the NY Health Act may finally become law. In four prior sessions the D Assembly passed it but the R Senate never gave it a vote.
Following last summer’s Assembly passage Health Committee Chair and bill sponsor Richard N. Gottfried said, “The health care system is rigged against working people, and Congress and the Trump administration are working to restrict health care access even more. New York can do better with an ‘improved Medicare for all’ single-payer system that covers all of us and is funded fairly. Support is growing with the public and in the State Senate. Assembly passage is an important step as we continue to build support for universal health care to benefit everyone.”
Former NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, stakeholders, and Council Member Eugene Mathieu.
On the steps of City Hall today Gottfried joined Council Member Mark Levine, Speaker Corey Johnson, and about 50 other people backing Council Resolution 470 in support of the NY Health Act. Levine chaired a Committee on Health public hearing this afternoon where New Yorkers spoke mostly in support of the Resolution and shared their personal stories about the current state of health care in New York. Johnson recalled losing his job and health insurance just two weeks after getting an HIV diagnosis. It wasn’t until the Affordable Care Act became law that his medical needs were met, he said. State Senator-elect Alessandra Biaggi spoke about her long-lived grandparents and called for the inclusion of long-term care in the plan. A NYC substitute teacher shared that although she has a job she has no employer or union medical coverage. A young man from Staten Island spoke passionately against the Resolution, instead proposing less regulation and more competition in the HC market. Other speakers included freelancers, patients, physicians, and small business owners who generally supported both the Resolution and the NY Healthcare Act. The City Council will hold a vote on Resolution 470 next week, according to Levine.
“Now is the time!” ~ Council Member Eugene Mathieu, Brooklyn.
“It’s going to take an army, but I think we can do it!” ~ State Senator-elect Alessandra Biaggi.
“Health care is a human and civil Right.” ~ NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
“Single payer promotes equity and stands to benefit especially those who have been left out and left behind.” Former NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.
“Our state should be leading the way in providing comprehensive and affordable coverage by passing the NY Health Act.” ~ Council Member Jumaane Williams.
“As physicians, we constantly see the devastating consequences for patients without health insurance.” ~ Dr. Oliver Fein, Physicians for a National Health Program.