LETTER: NYS needs quality long-term health care coverage, Keith Gurgui, Kingston Daily Freeman

By Keith Gurgui,  Nov 15, 2019, Town of Ulster

I’m a 28-year-old lifetime resident of the town of Ulster. For nearly 10 years, I have been living at home with the help of 24-hour personal care, after a spinal cord injury in late 2009 left me a quadriplegic.

The state of New York, like the rest of the United States, is at a crossroads of a growing home care crisis. Medical advancements and a growing understanding of human health have us living longer and surviving injuries that once were death sentences. Over time, this has created an inevitable increase in the need for quality, community-based long-term care.

New York could be the first state to not only create a universal health care system, but one that covers comprehensive long-term care coverage — one of the most critical, yet overlooked, components of a stable health care infrastructure.

Opponents of universal coverage who argue it is unaffordable fail to consider the heavy cost society already pays through the lack of coverage that leaves individuals sick, unemployed and in need of support. We all desire to live out our days at home, as independently as possible, with dignity. But the systems necessary to adequately fulfill that desire are woefully ill-equipped to satisfy such a demand.

Join me and the Caring Majority campaign at 10 a.m. Nov. 25 at the Ulster County Office Building, 244 Fair St., Kingston, where state legislators will be holding their second public hearing on the latest iteration of the New York Health Act, and help us make history.

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