By Sarah Outterson-Murphy, Marinemec, Oct 5, 2018
If you’re concerned about health care, voting rights, clean energy jobs and ethics reform in Albany, then you probably know that our state Senate’s Republican majority has blocked bills that would move us forward on all of these issues.
For example, the New York Health Act, which almost passed last year, would provide guaranteed health care for all New Yorkers. This bill would eliminate co-pays, deductibles and premium payments for health care, giving all New Yorkers access to the care we need. Small businesses and workers would no longer have to worry about health insurance, spurring economic growth and reducing turnover. But last year, even though the New York Health Act needed just one more co-sponsor for a majority, the Senate never allowed the bill to come to a vote.
Why? It’s simple: too many in Albany get huge donations from the health insurance industry, and are content to represent those corporate donors in Albany, not ordinary citizens back home. In particular, Jim Seward, chair of the insurance committee, spends much of his time finding new tax credits for insurers — in return for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he receives in donations from insurance interests. That’s not how I want my state legislature to work.