For Immediate Release: April 4, 2017
Carl Ginsburg, 917-405-1060, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Robbins, 330-618-6379,Katie@ pnhpnymetro.org
Ursula Rozum, 315-414-7720, ursula@ nyhcampaign.org
Mischa Sogut, 518-455-4941,SogutM@ NYAssembly.gov
As DC Republicans Threaten Health Care, Hundreds Rally to Demand Albany Pass Universal Health Care
30 NYS Senators and 75 Assembly Members Now Endorse New York Health Act
Advocates Demand Senate Vote as Assembly Prepares to Pass Act for Third Year in a Row
(Albany, NY) Fueled by President Trump and Republican plans to deny millions of Americans quality, affordable health care, hundreds of patients, nurses, doctors, and business owners rallied in Albany on Tuesday, April 4th to demand action on the New York Health Act—the state universal, “Improved Medicare for All” single-payer health care bill.
Since the start of the 2017 legislative session, 30 State Senators have co-sponsored the Act (A4738/S4840) – just two short of a majority, and a special Senate election in May is expected to bring the count to 31. The Assembly is poised to vote on it again this session after passing it in 2015 and 2016 with a 2-to-1 margin.
“Extreme policies coming from Washington, D.C. pose an imminent threat to our health care,” said Ursula Rozum, Upstate Coordinator, Campaign for New York Health “That’s why more and more New Yorkers are demanding that their elected leaders finally provide a rational way to deliver and pay for health care, give health care security to every New Yorker, and save billions of dollars. We are within striking distance of universal health care here in New York State. It is time for the Senate and Assembly to pass New York Health.”
The Act would replace private insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, restricted provider networks and out-of-network charges. It would provide comprehensive health coverage for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, health, or employment status, with full choice of doctors and other providers. The program would be publicly funded based on ability to pay and would eliminate the local share of Medicaid, currently funded through county property taxes.
“As the Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration attack health care, New York can protect and improve health care through a single-payer ‘improved Medicare for all’ for universal health care system that covers all of us and is funded fairly based on ability to pay,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair and bill sponsor Richard N. Gottfried. “Support for universal health care is growing with the public and in the State Senate.”
“The innovative single payer health bill I’m proudly sponsoring represents a fundamental step in ensuring that every New Yorker has access to affordable and quality health care coverage,” said Ranking Member of the Senate Health Committee and bill sponsor State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “Implementing the ‘New York Health Act’ would overhaul our health care delivery system making New York State less vulnerable to the efforts of Congress and this administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As the ranking member of the Health Committee in the State Senate, I am committed to continue to work with advocates and my colleagues in the legislature to finally make this proposal a reality.”
Senator Marisol Alcantara: “In the US federal system, states are the laboratories of democracy, trying out policies and showing that they work before the federal government takes them up. Every industrialized country except for the United States has instituted a version of universal healthcare, and in every place it has been tried, it has resulted in better health results and lower costs than we experience in the United States. In one of the wealthiest states in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is incomprehensible to me that so many cannot access basic healthcare. The New York Health Act would be good for businesses, good for patients, and good for the fiscal health of the state government. We need a state to be brave, to be progressive, and to go ever upward. If we push hard enough, New York can be that state.”
Judith Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, President, New York State Nurses Association: “This is the right moment to transition to ‘Improved and Expanded Medicare for All:’ a Single Payer system. Commercial health insurance still keeps millions from getting the care they need. Now there are serious threats to make health insurance even more costly and to further bar care. Our patients deserve a health care system that prioritizes their needs—not outsiders’ profits.That’s ‘New York Health’—a bill that allows nurses and physicians to provide the best care possible–to everyone.”
Tracey Everett, C.N.A., The Grand Nursing Home in Guilderland Center, 1199SEIU Member: “As a single working mom with 2 children, it is scary and stressful to get sick. I was diagnosed with diabetes about 2 years ago. At one point, I might be on one medication and at another point I might be on two or three medications. The cost is so expensive that my wages have been garnished from previous medical bills. I go to work every day, I work hard, but it’s still hard to keep up financially. No one should be one of the millions who don’t have insurance at all. That’s why I support New York Health. No one should have to fight and beg and negotiate for good health. Health care is not a privilege for the few, it is a right for all.”
Roona Ray, MD, MPH, Physician for a National Health Program: “Surveys show a majority of physicians support a single-payer health care plan. Not only are physicians sick and tired of watching their patients worry about how they will afford the cost of health care, but they are burned out by the bureaucratic hoops that private insurance companies make them jump through to deliver quality care to their patients.”
Laura Potts, New York voter: “On February 23rd, 2014, my sister took my brother to the Emergency Room. He was seen by two psychiatrists who wanted to admit him and planned to do so. Then along came a so-called “Crisis Manager” who looked at his medical insurance. She told him he should be transferred to the VA Hospital in Syracuse. She stated he could stay there, but it would cost, and he was responsible for the bill. Two days later he committed suicide. My brother was very ill. He needed compassion and medical care. Instead, he got a financial consultation.”
Ian Golden, Owner, Finger Lakes Running Company and Red Newt Racing: “I may not be a health policy expert — but I do know that single-payer health care could truly be the difference between my business’ lights staying on or not. This is an economic policy that will benefit those of us who contribute a majority of private employment in our state and insuring that we, like nearly all other developed nations in the world, provide health care as a right of all New Yorkers — not just the privileged.”