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LETTER: Senate should pass NY Health Act, Ethan Bodnaruk, Auburn Citizen

Dr. Buchberger’s (The Citizen, 7/4/17) article “Repealing and replacing ObamaCare” hits the nail on the head: our private health insurance system that creates huge profits and poor health care is an awful lot like an “insurance crime family” shakedown of the whole country.

The New York Health Act is a solution to this predicament, one that will drastically improve health outcomes, drastically decrease costs for 98 percent of New Yorkers (including eliminating co-pays and deductibles), and be a boon to businesses and places of worship which struggle with expensive employee health plans and burdensome paperwork. It would place a tiered payroll tax on all paychecks in New York, with extremely low rates for the middle and lower classes (zero for the very poorest) and sensible rates for the rich and on high-end investments. Everyone would be covered, and the state would pay all doctor bills out of these funds: a single payer system. Everyone would have their choice of doctor and there would be no in or out of network status at all.

According to an economic study of the NY Health Act, its implementation would save over $40 billion in the first year alone and save thousands of lives annually. With everyone covered and the efficiencies of a single payer system eliminating all the greedy private insurance companies, we can take care of all New Yorkers at a lower cost!

Read the full letter at the Citizen here.

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LETTER: Single-payer health care would save money, lives, Sarah Outterson-Murphy, Oneonta Daily Star

In last week’s Sound Off, some writers seem confused about how New York Health Act might affect their finances. Even though the bill would technically be a “tax increase,” a single-payer system would actually save us lots of money for three main reasons:

1) Employers currently pay tens of thousands of dollars per year per employee for private insurance, so directing some of that money to the single-payer system instead of high-cost private insurance will leave more money for workers and small businesses.

2) Up to 20 percent of what insurance companies charge goes to administrative costs and profit. Single-payer would cost closer to 1 percent in overhead, like public Medicare. So the total costs for care will be less.

3) New Yorkers making over 400,000/year would pay their fair share for health care, so that people making under 400,000/year (98 percent of us!) can pay far less. For example, everyone making under 50k will pay ZERO for health care.

Read the full letter at the Daily Star here.

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Reed hosts two town halls Saturday, Wellsville Daily Reporter

LINDLEY — Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, hosted two town halls Saturday, one at the Belfast Fire Department and another afterward at the Lindley-Presho Volunteer Fire Department.

In Lindley the discussion included the normal town hall topics, beginning with healthcare before touching on issues such as the Russia controversy and the environment. The town halls were the first Reed’s hosted since the GOP baseball shootings in early June.

Reed said in Washington, he believes the Senate will make a determination Tuesday on whether to move forward with the new GOP-led healthcare bill.

Read the full story at Wellsville Daily Reporter.

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LETTER: Sen. Little numbers are questioned, Agata Stanford et al, Glens Falls Post-Star

Now, it is vital for readers to understand the sources of Senator Little’s data are from opposition research groups and are not impartial studies. They were chosen specifically to refute the truly independent studies we offered which supports New York Health. 

Read the full letter at the Post-Star here.

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LETTER: Single-payer health care would benefit business, Carla Nordstrom, Oneonta Daily Star

The Daily Star’s July 5th editorial on a single-payer health care plan was spot-on. Not only would it benefit millions of people, but the New York Health Act would be good for business, too.

Retail, service and agricultural businesses could get out of the health care business and concentrate on growing their own business. Their employees would be healthier and with everybody in the system there would be no need for mandates.

Read the full letter at the Daily Star here.

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LETTER: Health care needs to be a priority, Charles A. Gowing, Auburn Citizen

Dr. Dale Buchberger's July 4 column was especially prescient. The Republican majority is feverishly working to deprive millions of Americans of health insurance to reduce the debit ceiling and provide tax relief to wealthy individuals etc. New York state has many of those millions of citizens.

I can't understand the reasoning behind wanting to balance a budget vs. keeping citizens healthy. How could any citizen withhold or deny health care to those citizens in need and unable to help themselves?

Read the full letter at the Citizen here.

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LETTER: Truly try to fix US healthcare, Ron Widelec, Long Island Newsday

My organization, Long Island Activists, wants Republican state senators to support the New York Health Act, a single-payer plan. In the legislative session that just ended, the Republicans refused to allow the bill to come to a vote, even though it had 31 co-sponsors in this 63-member chamber.

While other groups are focusing on protecting a failed status quo — the Affordable Care Act — my organization believes that Medicare-for-all is the only viable solution to provide affordable health care for all Americans.

Read the original letter at Newsday here.

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LETTER: Single payer health plan would benefit our area, Michael Kaufman, Oneonta Daily Star

Thank you for your editorial supporting single-payer health care, which would simplify and extend coverage to all Americans for all medically necessary treatments without premiums, co-payments, or deductibles. Volunteers in our area have organized for this for decades. The latest poll shows 60 percent of Americans now support a single-payer plan.

In the Senate, support for single-payer is growing: Long-time supporter Bernie Sanders has been joined by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and now our own Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. And in the House, as of early July, 113 U.S. Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 676, the House single-payer bill. However, our representative, John Faso, refuses to sign onto the bill. Instead, he twice voted to take away insurance from 23 million Americans — including thousands in our area. It seems he wants to return us to the days before Obamacare, when 52 million Americans were uninsured.

Read the full letter at the Daily Star here.

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The state Senate fails to bring 'Medicare for all' to N.Y., Poughkeepsie Journal

POUGHKEEPSIE — As this year’s state legislative session came to a close, health insurance companies announced their intent to take 17 percent more money from their customers in New York next year than they did this year. One company wants to raise rates by as much as 47 percent.

We could have ended this gouging of ordinary people by enacting the New York Health Act, a bill that guarantees access to quality, affordable healthcare to every New Yorker through a Medicare-for-all system. So far, President Donald Trump has failed to throw more than 2.7 million New Yorkers off health insurance by getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. But he is sure to try again, and a durable remedy is urgently needed. To that end, in May my Assembly colleagues and I passed the New York Health Act for a third consecutive year, but my friends in the Republican-controlled Senate did not. Read the full story at Poughkeepsie Journal.

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LETTER: Argument against single-payer health care flawed, David Craig, Ithaca Journal

Herb Masser's July 3 diatribe against single-payer health insurance is logically flawed.

He asks us to imagine that New York has mandated that there be only one car dealer in New York. He asks us to imagine there is only one store for us to buy groceries.

We do not get our health care from insurance companies. We get our health care from doctors, nurses and hospitals. We are not being told that there will only be one doctor, one nurse or one hospital for us to get our health care from.

Do not listen to fallacious arguments against single-payer health care.

Read the original letter at the Ithaca Journal here.

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LETTER: Senators should back progressive bills, Julienne Verdi, Staten Island Advance

When politicians refuse to do the most simple aspect of their job, we all suffer. The progress of progressive legislation coming to a vote in the New York State Senate has been abysmal.

Time, after time again, the NYS Senate has pushed back voting on many progressive bills that have passed the NYS Assembly. Our NYS Senators Diane Savino and Andrew Lanza have the power to change that.

Read the full letter at the Advance here.

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In Our Opinion: Single-payer health care plan makes a lot of sense, The Daily Star

ONEONTA — Let’s face it, you don’t understand all the nuances of Obamacare or the various Republican plans to replace it.

Don’t feel bad. Neither do we.

Like you, however, we can easily figure out that a Republican scheme that would take health insurance away from more than 20 million Americans over the next 10 years and remove $800 billion or so from Medicare funding isn’t going to be particularly popular.

That’s why only 12 percent of Americans support the GOP plan, according to the USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released Friday. Read the full story at The Daily Star.

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LETTER: Seeking aid through proposed health bill, Agata Stanford, Glens Falls Post-Star

Friends and I met with Senator Betty Little to address a problem for citizens in our district with the imminent repeal of the ACA and with the hope that she would support the solution, which lies within the New York Health Bill. It passed the Assembly three times, but needs one more senator to bring it to a vote.

S4840 is the most important and consequential legislation ever set before Senator Little. Millions of New Yorkers, particularly the poorest in counties in our district, will benefit with its passing. In three counties poverty is near or above 20 percent (U.S. Census); people will lose Medicaid benefits with the ACA repeal.

Read the full letter at the Post-Star here.

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LETTER: Senate bill shows need for single payer, Esther Confino, The Island Now

The Senate is writing a health-care bill in secret because they are ashamed or should be ashamed of a bill that is simply inhumane.

In their heart of hearts if they pretend to care about their fellow man, which at this point, is in serious doubt, this travesty would never see the light of day.

Shame on all you guys; note that a bunch of men only are concocting this unprincipled bill.

And defunding Planned Parenthood just adds to the irony.

Let us go back to basics; you should grow up and admit that health care should not be a business.

Read the full letter at the Island Now here.

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LETTER: Health Insurance is important, Judith Esterquest, Manhasset Press

Remember the “death panels” we were warned about a decade ago? Well, there’s one operating behind closed doors right now that will take health insurance from tens of millions of Americans. They assure us lack of health insurance doesn’t kill—and that millionaires need massive tax cuts.
Here on Long Island, we wait—neither of our NY Senators will vote for the “Repeal and Reform” AHCA. (Representatives Peter King and Lee Zeldin each voted “aye.”)
We can, however, work to protect New Yorkers from the consequences of this deadly bill.
The New York Health Act is currently tied up in the NY Senate Healthcare Committee, chaired by NY Senator Kemp Hannon, representing Long Islanders just south of us. He is supported by our NY Senator, Elaine Phillips, whose office often doesn’t ask for the names or addresses of constituents supporting this bill “because there are so many.”

Read the full letter at the Manhasset Press here.

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LETTER: Single-payer healthcare would benefit Americans, Richard Clements, Buffalo News

A recent Another Voice by Sally Pipes, warning of how single-payer health care “would be a nightmare,” is simply a series of unsupported falsehoods and easily refuted legends reminiscent of the notorious “Harry and Louise” horror story ads that were funded by the insurance industry to help scuttle the Clinton administration’s health plan in 1994.

One refrain is the prediction of the “disastrous effects on the economy,” easily disproved by the fact that Canada’s economy hasn’t cratered in the 49 years it has had low-cost, tax-funded single-payer health insurance as a benefit for all.

When businesses would have their costs cut and greatly benefit from having the burden of providing health insurance employee benefits lifted, they would logically be attracted to New York rather than flee.

Read the full letter at the Buffalo News here.

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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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