Katherine Robbins

  • Rochester Advocates Push for the New York Health Act

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After years of trying to get the New York Health Act passed in the state legislature, advocates are pushing again.

    “Insurance should not be an issue between life or death, between having a limb or not having a limb, we have to fix this,” Rev. Myra Brown, pastor of Spiritus Christi Church.

    The New York Health Act would give access to healthcare for all state residents, and a person’s income, health or immigration status would not be an issue. Coverage would also be based on income, rather than insurance company rates.

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  • Spectrum News: Is Pandemic a Game Changer for Single Payer Bill?

    For years, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried has introduced a bill creating a single-payer health care system in New York. Gottfried and Sen. Gustavo Rivera on Monday reintroduced the measure on Monday.

    And this year, with a pandemic claiming tens of thousands of lives in New York and exposing new cracks in the health care system, is different, advocates for the measure said.

    “New Yorkers elected a Democratic super-majority in the middle of a pandemic as a mandate to enact bold transformational changes, including the New York Health Act,” said Ursula Rozum, the co-director of the Campaign for NY Health. “This bill must be central to a just and equitable recovery from this pandemic and brought to a vote this year.” 


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    Mischa Sogut (M/A Gottfried's office)
    518-455-4941 (office) or 202-365-5475 (cell phone)   
    Valeria Munt (Sen. Rivera’s office) 
    Ursula Rozum (Campaign for NY Health)

    As Pandemic Rages, Lawmakers Reintroduce New York Health Act

    with Majority Support in State Legislature

    The bill is backed by a large coalition representing upstate and downstate New Yorkers 

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  • published What if I am on Medicare? in FAQ 2021-01-11 18:48:12 -0500

    What if I am on Medicare?


    Seniors on Medicare will benefit from expanded benefits from the NY Health plan, which will include vision, dental, hearing, and long-term care. 

    Medicare recipients currently spend an average of $6,100 – or 22% of their income – on health care. The New York Health Act will eliminate all out-of-pocket costs, ending financial worries when seeking health care. New Yorkers will pay less in New York Health taxes than they are paying now to insurance companies and in out-of-pocket expenses, and they will get the health care they need when they need it.

    Learn more about Medicare and the NY Health Act here.

  • published What if I am on Medicaid in FAQ 2021-01-11 18:46:55 -0500

    What if I am on Medicaid?


    Medicaid will be integrated into the NY Health Plan, so that every single person who currently receives Medicaid benefits will be covered by the universal health plan and guaranteed the same high quality healthcare as every other resident or full-time worker in NYS. The NY Health plan guarantees that you can go to the provider of your choice, which will significantly improve wait times for specialty care for those who currently receive Medicaid benefits. If you are on Medicaid, you will likely see an improvement in your access to timely care.

  • How is the NY Health Act able to improve the response to a pandemic?


    Across the world, universal healthcare systems that prioritized public health interventions have been better able to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In universal systems, no one lost their health insurance when they lost their job. Here in NYS, at least 300,000 people lost their health insurance in 2020. In the middle of a pandemic. 

    The NY Health plan will guarantee New Yorkers access to high quality care no matter your employment, age, income, race, or immigration status. It even covers full-time workers who live outside of New York State. 

    Doctors and nurses can spend time caring for patients, and not fighting health insurance companies to approve care. 

    A more coordinated system will better be able to manage supply, staff, and vaccine distribution based on where resources are needed most. 

    Most importantly, profit will not be the motivation for healthcare decisions. The system will instead prioritize high quality and equitable outcomes for people. 

    More information on COVID and the NY Health Act can be found here.

  • commented on Contact Us 2020-12-30 16:21:54 -0500

    Contact Us

    Interested in connecting with Campaign for New York Health organizers in your area? Reach out to a local coordinator from the map.

    Don't see someone in your area? Contact [email protected] to learn how you can help develop a local organizing team! Scroll to the bottom of this page to submit your inquiry to the Campaign for New York Health.

    Staff Contact Information:

    YuLing Koh Hsu, Co-Director, [email protected]

    Ursula Rozum, Co-Director, [email protected]



    Contact Us


    November 21, 2019

    Contact: Katie Robbins, [email protected], 917-657-4663

    Outraged New Yorkers Picket the NY Health Plan Association for Deadly Denials and Racist Algorithm 

    Video of grieving father Scott Desnoyers and family being ejected from the meeting: https://www.facebook.com/CampaignforNewYorkHealth/videos/466544350636996/

    November 21, 2019, Albany, NY – Activists from a coalition of healthcare professionals, unions and grassroots groups picketed the annual conference of the New York Health Plan Association (NYHPA), a trade association for the state’s health insurance companies.

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    November 19, 2019


    Katie Robbins, Campaign for New York Health, [email protected], 917-657-4663




    Activists Announce Picket Against NY Health Plan Association to Protest

     Deadly Denials and Racially Biased Limitations on Care 


    (Albany, NY)  A coalition of patients, healthcare professionals, unions and activist groups will picket the annual conference of the New York Health Plan Association (NYHPA) to protest the industry’s widely-practiced methods that lead to devastating consequences for patients.

    Advocates were shocked when the NYHPA canceled the paid registration for Stillwater resident Scott Desnoyers to attend the meeting. Scott recently wrote an OpEd about his son’s tragic death.  After missing a premium payment of $20, FidelisCare canceled his plan, which prevented him from being able to afford life-saving anti-depression medication, after which he committed suicide. (FidelisCare had $60 billion in revenue in 2018.) Advocates will be demanding transparency and that NYHPA stop shutting out patients.

    Earlier this month, the New York State Departments of Health and Financial Services launched an investigation into UnitedHealth Group for the use of an algorithm that limits care to sicker Black patients, while biasing reimbursements toward healthier white patients. This algorithm is widely used in the industry according to UnitedHealth Group’s own promotional materials. Inside the conference, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, Michael McGuire, will be moderating a panel at the conference on “Understanding Cost Drivers.”

    What: Picket outside the annual conference of the New York Health Plan Association (NYHPA)

    Who: Patient advocates; nurses and healthcare providers; labor representatives; small business; and other health care experts and advocates

    Where: 55 Eagle St. (corner of Eagle and Howard), Albany, NY

    When: Thursday, November 21, 12:00PM-1:00PM 


    See last year’s disruption and picket.

  • published Reintroduction with Long Term Care in Press 2019-02-12 11:42:17 -0500


    Lawmakers Reintroduce the New York Health Act;

    Advocates Celebrate Inclusion of Long-Term Care and Support Services

    The bill is now amended to include long-term care and support services, making it the most comprehensive, progressive, state-level universal healthcare bill in the country


    Albany, NY—Advocates celebrated the reintroduction of the New York Health Act [A.5248, S.3577] today, calling attention to its highly-anticipated revision to include long-term care and support services. This development is the result of years of organizing by women, seniors, people with disabilities, family caregivers, home care workers, unions, undocumented people, and the uninsured who worked with supportive elected officials to include these necessary services as a key component of the benefit package of the proposed universal healthcare system. Eighty-one Assembly Members and twenty-two Senators were listed as original cosponsors on the bill upon reintroduction.

    “We estimate that there are approximately 44 million unpaid family caregivers in the US providing almost 90% of care. Home care workers provide the rest. Out of two million home care workers, 90% are women, 53% are women of color. As the population of older adults in New York and across the United States rises, so does the imperative need for caregiving and an improved system of providing long-term care. That is why inclusion of long-term care in single-payer is such a visionary step. It places true value on services and supports to enable aging adults and people with disabilities to access the full scope of care.” Rachel McCullough, co-director of the New York Caring Majority.

    After passing the New York Health Act in the Assembly four years in a row with overwhelming support, advocates are optimistic that it will begin to move through the legislative process in the Senate. The respective chairs of the Senate and Assembly Health Committees and lead sponsors of the bill, Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, pledged to hold public hearings after the budget to further advance the debate.

    “Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, particularly women, are being suffocated by the financial burden placed on them as they provide long-term care for their loved ones,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee and sponsor of the bill. “By covering long-term care in the New York Health Act, we are aiming to provide aging adults and people with disabilities access to the quality care they need while providing financial relief for hard-working families in our state and dramatically improving the system for those who provide care. I look forward to continue working together with my colleagues and key stakeholders to make healthcare a right and not a privilege in New York State."

    “Long-term care is an intolerable drain on family finances and a burden on thousands of family caregivers – disproportionately women – who provide unpaid care to  family members,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried, Assembly sponsor of the bill. “We can cover long-term care, providing dignity and financial security to millions of aging and disabled New Yorkers, under a progressive public financing model.  Every New Yorker should get the health care they need, including long-term supports and services, without facing financial obstacles or hardships to get it.”

    While the Governor has expressed support for a single-payer ‘Medicare for All’ system at the federal level, he has not yet lent support to the state-level proposal. Advocates point out that the RAND Corporation’s analysis of the bill found that with long-term care services included in the benefit package, a single-payer system as described in the NY Health Act will cost less than the current system overall, while also improving the lives of people who currently must impoverish themselves to be eligible for Medicaid in order to access long-term care services.

    “1199SEIU caregivers understand all too well the access barriers that many New Yorkers face to healthcare,” said Gabby Seay, 1199SEIU’s Political Action Director.  “As our population ages, and the demand for long-term care undoubtedly increases, it will be imperative that we have measures in place to ensure that New Yorkers are able to receive the care they need.  We commend Senator Rivera and Assembly Member Gottfried for their commitment to our shared vision of healthcare access for all New Yorkers.

    Nurses are on the front line of patient care, well aware that healthcare access is not simply a matter of who is insured and who is not," said Marva Wade, RN and New York State Nurses Association Board Member. "A crisis exists for many of our insured patients struggling to afford the co-pays, deductibles, out-of-network charges, and shifting RX formularies. This results in wasted resources spent navigating this profit-driven system, not to mention limited health access and poor health outcomes. The New York Health Act is the cure for this broken healthcare system!"

    “By passing the NY Health Act, we will be on a clear path to truly universal, affordable healthcare -- more comprehensive than any existing plan or proposal with inclusion of long-term care benefits. Passing the bill will trigger an implementation process that sets up commissions to address transition issues, financing, negotiation of reimbursement, and regional access issues. But as long as we keep the wasteful, profit-seeking private health insurance corporations at the center of our system, we will struggle to afford and access the health care that we need. Providers will continue to burn out as they fight insurance companies to get their patients needed care. Many hospitals and clinics will continue to chase profitable care delivery models, not what the population actually needs to stay healthy. People will continue to make difficult choices to afford care they need. We need guaranteed healthcare in New York. We need the NY Health Act.” Katie Robbins, Director, Campaign for New York Health.  




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