Dr. Linda Kleinhenz, Hudson Valley

My name is Dr. Linda Kleinhenz and I live in the Hudson Valley. I've been practicing optometry in New York for 30 years, and a lack of insurance coverage is causing so many people to go without the care that they need. This becomes all-consuming in people’s lives, creating such anxiety, as they fret over the procedures and treatments that they need, but cannot afford.

As a self-employed doctor, I have also personally experienced the challenges of affording healthcare. My husband has cancer, and even with his new eligibility for Medicare the drugs are hideously expensive. It costs us thousands of dollars each month for just one of his five required medications.

For myself, I purchased the most basic single policy available on New York State’s health exchange,  which costs me $5200 and covers nothing until I satisfy a $4000 deductible. Each year, the “health plan” that is offered costs more and covers less, since the deductible keeps increasing.

Our current health insurance system is clearly inadequate.  The New York Health Act would be a godsend to all New Yorkers! In no other developed nation do people forego needed care because they can not pay for it. We desperately need a new system of healthcare to include every citizen in this country. Why is America the last to understand this?