SERIES: Healthcare in America #26: David & Goliath, Estrin & Esterquest, This Is the Bronx

By Judith Esterquest & Barbara Estrin, Jan 24, 2019

A David and Goliath Battle: Strategies for Winning the New York Health Plan

November’s NY State Senate contest was a rout— the Democrats slam-dunked the Republicans, creating a completely transformed playing field in Albany. Team Dems, with 40 psyched for the opening bell on January 9th, are one vote shy of a super-majority, dominance they’ve long held in the Assembly, completing their statewide trifecta (with Cuomo). Team Dem has 15 newbies in the line-up joining 25 incumbents. The 23-member Team GOP has only 2 newbies in their line-up and have lost serious star power such as Jeff Klein, Kemp Hannon, Golden, and others.

Did NYC play to win? We crushed it! Seven of the Dem rookies hail from NYC, joining another 4 from Long Island. If you worried about the IDC last spring, that wicked-witch troupe of monkeys is history, only one of their member not having fallen in September, overcome by six exciting new players — wearing deeply progressive blue shirts — who took their battle cry for health justice and social justice to victory in November. Let’s put in neon how historic this is: Team Dems have controlled the NY Senate only 3 years since World War II. 

Can they learn to play like winners? They’ve had 60 years practicing sitting on the senate backbench and honing insults — rarely invited into the back room where legislation is written...

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