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LETTER: The time has come for universal healthcare, Susan Woods, Syracuse Eagle News

The time has come for the United States to provide for and protect its citizens — the true leaders of any democracy — in the most basic way: with universal (single-payer) health care. Every other major country in the world, and even some smaller ones, have understood its necessity and risen to meet the need. 

Some people say they don’t want to pay for other people’s health care, but the reality is they already are and always have been. And another truth is this: Universal health care saves money. When the government can negotiate pricing on behalf of the taxpayers, costs drop; when hundreds of thousands of people are no longer going bankrupt each year because of medical bills, the burden on taxpayers to pick up that slack is lessened; when more people are able to get care they need in order to work or attend school, and employers can focus on paying wages and not insurers, our economy grows. 

If we can keep costs low and coverage high, we have everything to gain. 

Read the full letter at the Eagle News here.

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LETTER: New York Health Act needs a public push, Terri Roben, Schenectady Daily Gazette

The June 20 Washington Post editorial about single-payer health insurance argues that a simple, sane plan couldn’t work at the dysfunctional Washington level of politics and therefore, we should adopt our own New York Health Act.
Ninety-eight percent of us would save, on average, $2,200 yearly — a significant savings. 
All we need is one more state senator, like Jim Tedisco, to support single payer. He is known for his compassion to animals, and I assume he has the same level of concern for his human constituents. Local voters would be very grateful if he gets this out of his health committee.
Doctors could spend more time with their patients and less time dealing with the paperwork of 150 different profit-driven insurance plans, not to mention paying for more staff to manage all of this.
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LETTER: Urging Senator Bonacic: Support NY Health Act, Dr. David Nidorf, Middletown Times Herald-Record

As a doctor, I’ve seen how the lack of affordable health insurance affects real people. Patients avoid costly doctor visits and preventative care until a curable cancer becomes deadly or a chronic disease becomes an emergency. Doctors and hospitals are in a terrible position when we see patients who need our help but can’t afford to pay - hospitals can’t provide free care to everyone. People are dying who don’t have to!

Read the full letter at the Times Herald-Record here.

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LETTER: Consider the savings with single-payer care, Judith Esterquest, Washington Post

Remember the two decades of fierce, fear-inducing, false attacks on Medicare? It would bankrupt the government, overwhelm hospitals and destroy our health-care system. Sound familiar?

Private health insurance has many times the administrative costs of Medicare. It also adds significantly to the operating costs of doctors’ offices and hospitals. Hospitals have more insurance billing and reimbursement clerks than beds. Universal, single-payer health care would dramatically reduce malpractice premiums (by eliminating the cost of future medical treatment). Focusing on costs without addressing all projected savings is irresponsible.

Why not admit that the political cost of moving to single-payer frightens too many interest groups?

Read the original letter at the Washington Post here.

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LETTER: NY Health Act is the best option, Patricia Sprott, Schenectady Daily Gazette

Today there is a strong pull to the idea of no taxes. Many groups try to paint a picture that without taxes and government services we would be better off. We need both and we need to place the burden properly. The groups advocating no taxes are backed by billionaires who don’t want to pay. No taxes will not help the regular person. 
The AHCA (Affordable Health Care Act) bill is an example of bad management of taxing. It does not solve the health care problem and puts the burden on lower and middle class and elderly. The ACA is a better work in progress, but look at the New York Health Act before our state government. Income is taxed on a prorated scale; the Medicaid tax in property taxes goes away. Same health care; you pick any doctor you want.
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ARTICLE: Protestors Urge Senator Murphy to Support Health Act, The Northern Westchester Examiner

On a dreary Friday afternoon, CD17Indivisible, along with several activists, held a Die-In urging Senator Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) to support the New York Health Act in the event that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed at the national level.

Dressed in black carrying imitation tombstones saying, “Murphy’s inaction could kill me,” and chanting slogans such as “Senator Murphy show you care, New York health care is just and fair,” close to 50 local residents gathered at the corner of Murphy’s Restaurant in Yorktown standing together in support of single-payer healthcare for all New Yorkers.

“People are going to die,” organizer Marianna Stout said during the June 16 protest. “If the ACA is repealed, there will be people who do not have health care who have pre-existing conditions or conditions that require that they have health service frequently and they won’t get it and can’t afford it and they are going to die.”

Read the full article at the Westchester Examiner.

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LETTER: Lawmakers should pass New York Health, Kathleen Haggerty, Buffalo News

I am writing to encourage my fellow Western New Yorkers to contact their statewide elected officials to urge their support of the New York Health Act (A. 4738/S. 4840). New York has the opportunity to be the first state to implement truly universal health care like the rest of the industrialized world.

As one who works with lower-income senior citizens and people with disabilities, I have met many individuals who cope daily with the stress of choosing between the care recommended by their physicians and other necessary expenses. I’ve had applicants for the affordable housing programs I manage who have been bankrupted by a serious illness. While I have contributed on numerous occasions to assist a friend or member of the community impacted by the cost of an unexpected accident or illness, should we really have to crowd-fund our health care?

Read the full letter at Buffalo News here.

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Rally for New York Health Act at Lafayette Square, WBEN

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) — Members of the Liberty Union Progressives, formerly known as Buffalo for Bernie, rallied at Lafayette Square on Friday afternoon and called for the passage of the New York Health Act.

According to the New York State Assembly, the legislation is a system of access to health insurance for state residents. It also provides payment methodologies and care coordination and also establishes a Health Trust Fund which would hold monies from a variety of sources to be used solely to finance the plan. Read the full story at WBEN.

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Protestors Urge Sen. Murphy to Support NY Health Act, News 12 Westchester

YORKTOWN —Activists staged a die-in Friday to urge state Sen. Terrence Murphy to back the New York Health Care Act, which would create a single-payer system in the state.

The legislation has already passed the Assembly for each of the last three years, but is short of a co-sponsor. It would need a yes vote from state Sen. Murphy to pass on the Senate floor. Read the full story on News 12 Westchester.

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Advocates Rally for New Health Care System, NPR WBFO

BUFFALO — Advocates for a universal, publicly-financed health care system rallied in downtown Buffalo Friday. Healthcare workers, community activists, union leaders and others, gathered in Lafayette Square, called on Senator Chris Jacobs to support the New York Health Act.

Sara Palmer, an organizer with the Campaign for New York Health says, the legislation will guarantee health care for all New Yorkers. And Palmer says there's no deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance or out of network costs. Read the full story at NPR WBFO.

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LETTER: Thanks to Trumpsters, people will die, Justin Latus, Utica Observer-Dispatch

Thanks to the tender mercies of Donald Trump, Claudia Tenney, Chris Collins, John Faso, and others, health care for tens of millions of people in this country is under direct threat.

Simply put, people will suffer and die as a result of the cruel and immoral policies being proposed by these ethically challenged persons. Tenney is on board with policies that would result in the loss of more American lives than Al-Qaeda or ISIS ever dreamed of. As Tenney’s true disdain for the poor, middle class, working families, and the disabled becomes readily apparent, we look forward to voting her out of office in 2018.

Fortunately, New York state now has the New York Health Act under consideration by the state Senate.

Read the full letter at the Observer-Dispatch here.

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LETTER: Urge lawmakers to support single-payer, Glenn Sanders, Schenectady Daily Gazette

The New York Health Care Act (Senate bill S4840) has already passed in the state Assembly and is within one vote of majority support in our Senate. This law would get private insurance companies out of the health care system.
Proper health care is a matter of public safety every bit as much as national defense, national security, and police and fire protection. Imagine if you had to navigate and pay for a mish-mash of private interests in order to get insurance for those things.
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LETTER: Single Payer Health Care is Doable, Myra Saul, Joanne Currie, and Jonathan Reiss, The New York Times

You call single-payer a “government takeover of health care.” Later in the article, single-payer is referred to as that old canard “socialized medicine.”

Single-payer is simply where the government sets the price and the range of reimbursable procedures because it is the sole insurance provider — in other words, Medicare for all.

Read the full letters at The New York Times here.

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LETTER: Time for single payer health care, Esther Confino, The Island Now

We could wait for the Congress repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until the end of 2017, but it will never appear.

The House of Representatives passed the abominable “American Health Care Act” and the Senate will not be able to present anything at all.

The voting public knows that anything they invent will destroy health care in this country. Goodbye Trumpcare.

There is no need to waste any more time listening to Trump’s promises (read that ‘lies’ — he knows nothing!).

Healthcare Activists, have launched a campaign of rallies and meetings to explain the New York Health Act, which is a single payer health-care program which has already passed the state Assembly three times.

Read the full letter at The Island Now here.

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LETTER: Ask senators to approve New York Health, Laura Potts, North Country Now

This letter is to inform readers that there is legislation pending in Albany that would create a single payer health care system in New York State. It is called the New York Health Care Act A 4738.

Every resident of New York would be able to receive free health care and it may include vision and dental care.

No more deductibles, co-pays or accelerating premiums. All medications needed would be provided.

Read the full letter at North Country Now here.

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LETTER: NY State's Health Act could be answer, Tony Del Plato, Finger Lakes Times

All in! No one out! That’s what the NY Health Act is about. And the New York State Senate Bill 4840 is one vote from passage. The State Assembly has overwhelmingly passed it three years in a row. If Sen. Pamela Helming, R-54 of Canandaigua, and other state senators vote for the Act, they will be able to campaign in the next election and say they eliminated the largest unfunded mandate, Medicaid, from our property taxes. 

Read the full letter at the Finger Lakes Times here.

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LETTER: Ritchie should support NY Health Act, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, Watertown Daily Times

As a constituent of state Sen. Patty Ritchie’s, I have written to her, called her office and gone in person to talk with members of her staff, all to urge her to support the New York Health Act (A.4738/S.4840), which would ensure her constituents and all New Yorkers affordable health care.

After all, given the mess Congress has made of health care reform, I believe it is incumbent on her to do whatever she can to help her constituents with health care. Since she is a deputy vice chair of the Senate committee that deals with health issues, this means — at the very least — getting the bill out of committee so that it can be debated. I believe her constituents deserve the debate so that we know where she stands!

Read the full letter at the Watertown Daily Times here.

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LETTER: Health care is a right, not a privilege, Scott Brinton, Long Island Herald

President Trump has derided the Affordable Care Act time and again over the past two years, saying, over and over, that it — and, you would think, it alone — caused insurance premiums to skyrocket.

Here’s the thing: Under Obamacare, health care costs have continued to climb, but (and this is a big but) they have been rising for a very long time — long before Barack Obama became president and long before the ACA became, in the recent words of House Speaker Paul Ryan, the law of the land.

Remember 2009? How could anyone older than, say, 20, forget it? The economy was tanking. Millions of people had lost their jobs. The rich were hocking their precious works of art to make ends meet. The rest of us just laid low and prayed to keep our jobs.

Read the rest of the letter at the Long Island Herald here.

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LETTER: Urge Sen. Ritchie to vote yes on NY Health Act, Michele O'Donnell, North Country Now

I am urging Sen. Patty Ritchie of District 48 to vote yes to NY Health Act S4840. This health bill passed the assembly with a vote of 92 to 52 and is now in the Senate.

This bill has a long history from when it was introduced in 1992 until now. It is time that New York State lead the way in universal health care.

In a time where environmental protections are being peeled away one by one and access to affordable health care is getting more restrictive, it is imperative now more than ever that we protect our citizens in New York State with care that they deserve.

Read the full letter at North Country Now here.

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LETTER: GOP healthcare bill leaves too many uninsured: Urge elected officials to support 'Medicare for all' at state, national levels, Dr. Sunny Aslam, Syracuse.com

"Demand health insurance as good as Congress's" (Post-Standard, May 26, 2017) is on the right track. We need to insist our local officials stand up for us. U.S. Rep. John Katko and state Sen. John DeFrancisco oppose federal and state efforts expanding Medicare for all, but offer no plans of their own. Sound bites about the need for market-based solutions are not good enough. We can't accept politicians who offer no real solutions for millions of working people with no affordable health coverage.

Read the full letter at Syracuse.com here.

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LETTER: Push State Senate to pass healthcare bill, Peter Looker, Schenectady Daily Gazette

As a 40-year small business person, I’m very grateful to friend Ed Zurmuhlen, who taught me KISS (keep it simple stupid). I search for simple time- and money-saving solutions, avoiding wasteful bureaucratic systems, like Ryan, Obama and Trump sick-care. They all just shuffle around and increase costs. 
On the other hand, the NYHealth Act actually simplifies and reduces costs ($45 billion) for New York residents, families, doctors, businesses and taxpayer-funded local governments. No co-pay, deductibles or endless paperwork; one simple plan for politicians, CEOs, freelancers, students, low-wage workers and retirees. 
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LETTER: Faso must change ways regarding single payer system, Michael Kaufman, Oneonta Daily Star

When next year’s election rolls around, please remember this: Our congressperson, Republican John Faso, voted twice to take away health insurance from up to 24 million people over the next decade by gutting Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act).

“It’s so horrifying that I can’t think about it,” Ellen, a Delaware County resident, told me. Ellen has been disabled since an accident 14 years ago, and relies on Medicaid for her survival.

Read the full letter at the Daily Star here.

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Faith Leaders Push for Single Payer Health Care, NPR WAMC

ALBANY — Faith leaders from around New York came to the Capitol Tuesday to gain support in the state senate to adopt a statewide single payer health care system. It would be an alternative to the national Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which Republicans in Congress and President Trump have been trying to dismantle.

A New York-based single payer health care program has been approved numerous times in the State Assembly. Assemblyman Phil Steck, who represents portions of Albany and Schenectady, and is one of the bill’s most staunch supporters, says it would simply build on the existing Medicare system for Americans 65 and older. Read the full story at NPR WAMC.

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Assembly plans to pass single-payer health bill — again, Albany Times Union

ALBANY — The state Assembly on Tuesday is set to pass yet again legislation that would establish a single-payer health care system for the state.

Though such a system has long been advocated for by some Democrats, the move likely will amount to little more than more pomp and circumstance with the bill’s chances of passing the Republican-held Senate being slim. The bill has the backing of 30 Democratic senators (including members of the Independent Democratic Conference) but lacks a Republican sponsor. Read the full story at Albany Times Union.

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New York Health Act passes legislative chamber, CBS6Albany (video)

ALBANY, NY (WRGB)--Lawmakers announced Tuesday afternoon the New York Health Act has passed the State Assembly.

The bill would establish the New York Health Program, a single-payer healthcare system.

Assembly Democrats are concerned that any changes to the Affordable Health Care Act could impact New Yorkers' access to healthcare and hope this bill will offset any changes.

Read the full story at CBS6Albany.

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New York’s Legislature Is On The Brink Of Passing Universal Healthcare, Village Voice

ALBANY — On May 4, House Republicans celebrated the narrow passage of a messy healthcare bill few of them apparently read, despite the promise that it will kill tens of thousands of their constituents in the unfortunate event that it makes it through the Senate. Here in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo was quick to release a forceful 175-word statement condemning the American Health Care Act as a law passed by “ultraconservatives” that would “tear apart our healthcare system.”

Luckily for Cuomo and the nearly 20 million of us who live here, there’s a readily available solution that would rescue us from this hell: the New York Health Act, which would give every New Yorker access to state-funded coverage. And the best part? It’s as close as it’s ever been to becoming a law. Read the full story at The Village Voice. 
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New York's single-payer healthcare plan passes in state Assembly, Modern Healthcare

ALBANY — New York's state Assembly passed a single-payer healthcare bill Tuesday that would provide universal coverage statewide. However, the bill faces a difficult path through the Republican-controlled state Senate, and economists have conflicting views on how it would affect spending and taxation.

The bill's sponsor, Manhattan Democrat Richard Gottfried, said House Republicans' passage of the American Health Care Act makes it more important that the state Legislature act to preserve affordable healthcare. Read the full story on Modern Healthcare.

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Single Payer Success in NY as Medicare-for-All Bill Passes State Assembly, Common Dreams

ALBANY — As the momentum behind Medicare-for-All continues to grow nationwide, New York's State Assembly on Tuesday was expected to pass a single-payer healthcare bill that puts the state light years ahead of the regressive GOP in Washington, D.C.

The New York Health Act would afford all state residents access to comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care, primary and preventative care, prescription drugs, behavioral health services, laboratory testing, and rehabilitative care, as well as dental, vision, and hearing coverage. There would be no premiums, deductibles, or co-pays; the plan would be funded through progressively raised taxes, including a surcharge that would be split 80/20 between employers and employees. Read the full story on Common Dreams.

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New York State Assembly expected to pass bill to bring single payer health care to Empire State, Mic.Com

ALBANY — On Tuesday, the New York State Assembly is scheduled to vote on Assembly Bill A4738 — the so-called New York Health Plan — a bill that, if signed into law, would make the Empire State the first in the nation to give its residents single-payer health care. 

Just as it did in 2015 and 2016, the measure is expected to easily pass the assembly by an overwhelming majority. And just as it did for the past two years, the bill has a difficult road ahead of it in the New York State Senate. Read the full story on Mic.Com.

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NYS Assembly passes single-payer health care plan, Spotlight News

NEW YORK STATE — A plan to create a universal single-payer health insurance plan in New York state passed the Assembly on Tuesday, May 16, on the birthday of Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-75), the bill’s sponsor and the Assembly’s most senior representative.

The legislation, which passed with a vote of 87 to 38, has been advocated by Gottfried for years and just cleared the Assembly for the third consecutive year, having been kiboshed by the Republican-controlled Senate in 2015 and 2016. Prior to that, a universal health care bill hasn’t made it to the Assembly floor since 1992, when it also passed with a solid majority. Read the full story on Spotlight News.

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