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By Kathleen Stein, Aug 16, 2019
The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of St. Lawrence County.
Medicare and Medicaid turned 54 on July 30. Yet half a century after these popular “entitlements” were created, the United States remains the only developed country without universal health care. The rest of the world admires many things about America, but our for-profit system of health insurance is not among them.
A comprehensive national plan may not be in the immediate cards. New Yorkers, however, need not wait for Congress to pass (and a president to sign) a Medicare for All bill — which may take awhile. The New York Health Act, pending in the state Legislature, would make an expanded version of Medicare available to all residents of the state. Moreover, it includes dental, vision and mental health coverage as well as long-term care — none of which are provided by Medicare. Earlier versions of the NYHA have passed the state Assembly in each of the last three sessions only to stall in the Senate. The bill coincides, in broad outline, with the national bills introduced by Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Pramila Jayapal in the House....