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LETTER: Kingston endorsement of NY Health Act a bright spot, Paul R. Cooper, Daily Freeman

by Paul R. Cooper, Oct 13, 2018

The Kingston Common Council's recent endorsement of the New York Health Act is a well-needed bright spot in our darkening horizon. This act — passed four years in a row by our state Assembly — and shot down, as many times, by the Republicans in our state Senate — would guarantee health care for every New Yorker, regardless of income.

There would be no pre-existing conditions, no co-pays, and no deductibles.

And, remarkably, as attested by the Rand Corporation, the total health care expenditure would be less. More healthcare for less money — who doesn’t like the sound of that?

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New Document: Myths and Facts on the New York Health Act

 

Download the new fact sheet here.

Myth_Fact_v2.jpeg

 

MYTH: The NY Health Act will end Medicare as we know it.

FACT: The NY Health Act will greatly improve benefits for Medicare beneficiaries by covering vision, dental, hearing, and long-term care, while lowering cost by getting rid of copays, deductibles, and cost-sharing. You will have free choice of doctors, hospitals and other providers. The NY Health Act will not reduce any benefit or right currently available through Medicare, but it will strengthen access to care for Medicare beneficiaries, and guarantee health care for the rest of us, too.

 

MYTH: The NY Health Act will quadruple your taxes.

FACT: Studies show that 90% or more of New Yorkers will actually pay less in NY Health taxes than they do now for premiums, deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket costs for health care and prescription drugs.

 

MYTH: The NY Health Act will cause large job losses.

FACT: The savings from NY Health will put money back in people’s pockets including employers and actually create 200,000 new jobs. People in jobs that are no longer needed in health plan and health care provider administration will take new jobs, aided by NY Health funds that can pay for re-training and transitioning, in a healthier NY economy stimulated by the savings of NY Health.

 

MYTH: The NY Health Act is bad for business.

FACT: Today, businesses are burdened by rising health care costs and health insurance paperwork. Many small businesses can’t provide insurance because of its cost, and lose good employees to jobs that have health benefits. The NY Health Act is simple with predictable costs, necessary for businesses to thrive and for workers to stay healthy.

 

MYTH: The NY Health Act can’t work if we don’t get federal waivers for Medicare and Medicaid.

FACT: Even without federal waivers, New York can incorporate Medicaid, wrap around Medicare, and provide truly universal health care to all residents of New York at less cost than now. Federal waivers would help the system run more smoothly – for us and for the federal government – but they are not necessary for the system to work.

 

MYTH: The NY Health Act will cut payments to doctors and hospitals.

FACT: There are sufficient savings in NY Health that provider reimbursement rates can be raised so that they can actually see greater take-home pay. A majority of doctors now favor a plan like NY Health because they are so frustrated with the current system. It will statutorily guarantee reasonable and adequate payment rates, and save providers billions in reduced administrative costs.

 

MYTH: The NY Health Act is government-run health care.

FACT: With NY Health, you and the health care providers you choose are responsible for your health care. NY Health just pays the bill. Medicare – an enormously popular program – is not “government run health care,” and neither is NY Health. But today, insurance companies largely run our health care – for their benefit.

 

MYTH: Employer-provided insurance is better than the NY Health Act.

FACT: The benefits of the NY Health Act are more generous and more certain than any private or public plan that currently exists. People who currently receive health insurance from their employer will have the peace of mind knowing that high quality, affordable health care will be there for them whether they have a job, move to a new job, or lose their job. Today, every year more money goes to skyrocketing costs of health insurance – a burden on employers, employees, and unions. With NY Health, almost all of us will keep more money in every paycheck and get better access to health care.

 

MYTH: Why don’t we just cover the 5% of people who are currently uninsured?

FACT: While covering everyone is a major goal of the NY Health Act, just extending coverage to the uninsured does nothing for the ten times or more New Yorkers who struggle with premiums, deductibles, copays, out-of-network charges and unjustified denials of care. With NY Health, everyone is covered with high quality affordable health care, ending underinsurance for good.

 

MYTH: Government programs aren’t very good. This will be second-class care.

FACT: What’s not good is getting health coverage from companies that make money by getting in the way of the health care your doctor should be providing. The NY Health Act has statutory guarantees of comprehensive benefits, complete choice of providers, no out-of-pocket charges, and reasonable and adequate payment to providers. People with wealth and influence – including every legislator and the governor – will be in the same plan as the rest of us. They will make sure that their coverage is as good as can be, and the rest of us – and our doctors and hospitals – will be in the same plan with them.

 

MYTH: We shouldn’t force everyone into this plan. We can just offer a public option.

FACT: Having everyone in the same plan is crucial to making sure we all have the best possible coverage and care. Keeping most of us in insurance company coverage, and adding an extra “public option” plan, guarantees that the billions of waste, unfair charges and unjustified denials of care in the current system continue. If the “public option” plan offers better access to care, then it will attract a disproportionate share of people who need a higher-than-average amount of care, and the plan will face higher and higher costs and fail. If it isn’t better, what’s the point – other than being a distraction from the sensible NY Health Act.

 

For more information, visit www.nyhcampaign.org/learn or email info@nyhcampaign.org

 

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OPINION: New York! Save your Wallet from the Healthcare Mob!, Holly Lynch, City and State

Holly Lynch, Oct 11, 2018

As I was rushed to NYU Medical Center on May 13th 2014, the worst news was not that I had an incurable grapefruit-sized cancer in my head, but that Oxford had canceled my insurance. That happened again in 2016. And with that, I was labeled not only “high-risk” but a “pre-existing condition” twice-over.  I had to laugh, twice. 

Here’s the problem: Being human is a pre-existing condition. We will ALL get sick, many of us, VERY sick. And who banks on that? Health insurers. Much like the mob, their monthly “protection” is limited and expensive and doubles-down the sicker we get, (read: the more we need it, the less we have it). We pay the premiums, but in our darkest hour, are punished for terminal illness. Insurers are truly sick.

Conservatives refer to Medicare and Medicaid as “entitlements”, as if healthcare were a charitable gift. But Congress declared healthcare a right in 1986when it passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), an unfunded mandate signed by Reagan ensuring EVERYONE, regardless of income, status or citizenship, received care at federally funded hospitals (nearly all of them). See? We already pay the bill. So why not pay a smarter, more fiscally sound bill that actually covers our pre-existing human condition, and that of our aging loved-ones? 

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COMMENTARY: N.Y. can take lead in Medicare for All to ensure better future, Marva Wade, Times-Union

By Marva Wade, October 10, 2018

Poll after poll shows that health care is a top voter concern this year.

No wonder. Health insurance premiums go up and up — 15 percent in New York state in 2017 — and close to a third of Americans with insurance report they cannot afford to see doctors and buy prescriptions.

With big premiums, deductibles and co-pays, private health insurance costs are burying American families. Virtually no one is without a story of a severe financial hardship when seeking care. In fact, the number one source of personal bankruptcy is health care — even for those who are privately insured.

When you add it all up — insurance premiums and deductibles, profits and outrageous administrative costs — and contrast that sum to projected taxes to fund a Medicare for All — aka single payer — system, the taxes are less. With Medicare for All, 90 percent of New Yorkers will pay less than they currently do for care. Unlike the current system, access is based upon need, not how much money is in your bank account.

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ARTICLE: Kingston lawmakers support proposed New York Health Act, Kingston Daily Freeman

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LETTER: Attack ads on single-payer health care are confusing, Earl Callahan, Oneonta Star

Earl Callahan, New Berlin, Oct 9, 2018

As I watch the attack ads on television for those running to represent me in Washington I am equally amused and confused.

In the 22nd Congressional District of New York, the attack ad that makes my head start spinning is the one where the incumbent Claudia Tenney attacks her opposition Anthony Brindisi for his support of a single-payer health plan — Medicare for all. Now why would she launch an attack on a program that populations in the rest of the industrialized world enjoy as their birthright?

The answer to that is that she must relish the suffering of those who are one serious illness away for the poor house....

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SERIES: Healthcare in America #18, Karen Thomas, This Is the Bronx

This is part of an ongoing series that gives Bronx writers a chance to share their personal stories on the state of healthcare in America.

by Karen Thomas, September 23, 2018

Part I: Safety Doesn’t Happen By Accident

Friends, my healthcare story began at work. A perfect storm of events led to a workplace injury that should never have happened. I was an administrative clerk for a kitchen that served about 1500 meals a day, but on October 15th of 1990, the baker did not come to work. And the inventory clerk for the meat department called in sick.

Knowing that I’d previously worked as a baker, my boss asked me to make bread pudding for the day’s dessert. He asked John, without relevant experience, to step in as inventory clerk for meat. As we all know, in the high stress environments of large-scale kitchens, no Boss accepts “No.”

The freezers were located adjacent to the ovens, a seriously inconvenient architectural design. John, who had a poor attitude that day, first stacked the meat on pallets without criss-crossing it — done to form an interlocking knot on the stacking pallets and necessary to balance the weight evenly toward the middle of the pallet — then left pallets crowding the baking ovens. Finally, he removed the jack (the tool for moving pallets), took the jack outside, and locked the door behind him.

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LETTER: Stop stalling on single-payer, Barbara Estrin, Riverdale Press

Barbara Estrin, October 7, 2018

“Unethical.” “Politically wrong, morally wrong.”

That is how Ban Ki-moon, former secretary general to the United Nations, described U.S. health care in a Guardian interview on Sept. 25. For the same of Americans, Mr. Ban hopes “either California or New York … will introduce (a single-payer) system.”

On the same day, NPR’s Brian Lehrer featured a debate on the New York Health Act between Hudson Valley senate candidate Pete Harckham and Chris Pope, a fellow at the Mercer Koch-sponsored Manhattan Institute.

Mr. Ban focuses on universal human needs. The New Yorkers focused on economics. The Guardian interview illustrates a hard-to-face truth: The foreign press — scandalized by both the expense and the inhumanity of current U.S. health care — wonders at delays in passing legislation that would bring universal, comprehensive, affordable health care to every New Yorker.

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LETTER: Vote for the Democrats in state Senate races, Sarah Outterson-Murphy, Oneonta Star

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.

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Article: 2019 May Be the Year Single-Payer Health Care Passes in NY, Rewire News

Sep 27, 2018   Auditi Guha

“People want to see their ability to access health care not be tied to employment, or income level, or health status, or even immigration status or marital status."

Five New Yorkers die every day due to lack of health coverage, according to the Campaign for New York Health. More than a million New Yorkers lack health insurance, and millions more have plans that would bankrupt them in a medical emergency.

Enter single-payer health care, which would provide comprehensive health coverage for every one of New York’s 19.8 million residents.

... Studies have found that the NYHA would ensure “a system that covers everybody, offers better care, is less expensive as time goes on, but also one that has a more equitable distribution of funding,” Rivera said.

... People want to pay less for health care, he said. The issue is not where people send their checks but the fact that it will be a smaller bill.

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ARTICLE: Ex-UN chief Ban Ki-moon says US healthcare system is "morally wrong," The Guardian

By Jessica Glenza, Sept 25, 2018
... Ban said he hopes states, including California and New York, will pass universal health coverage and spark a national call for public financing of health.

“It will be either California or New York who will introduce this system,” said Ban. “Then I think there will be many more states who will try to follow suit. I think that’s an encouraging phenomenon we see.” 

... Ban blamed the “sectoral interests” of pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors, “which inhibit the American government” for hindering moves towards a universal health coverage plan.

“Here, the political interest groups are so, so powerful,” Ban said. “Even president, Congress, senators and representatives of the House, they cannot do much so they are easily influenced by these special interest groups.”

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VIEW: “Medicare for All” would boost health quality and affordability for all NYers, Zevon, LoHud

By Madeline Zevon, Oct 2, 2018

Study after study, including a recent RAND Corporation analysis, affirms that the New York Health Act (“Medicare for All New York”) would cost less than our current health care. The highly regarded, centrist, independent, nonprofit confirmed that NY Health would reduce total health-care costs — despite increasing spending on actual health care — by decreasing spending on administrative waste and insurance company profits.  

Specifically, RAND concludes that NY Health will provide all essential health care to every New Yorker; save substantial money for 19 million of us; create 180,000 new jobs, increasing employment by 2 percent; eliminate county Medicaid contributions and make New York businesses more competitive. Little reported, but important to millions of New Yorkers, NY Health will also fully cover long-term care, and still save money.

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VIEW: “Medicare for All” would boost health quality and affordability for all NYers, Zevon, LoHud

By Madeline Zevon, Oct 2, 2018

Study after study, including a recent RAND Corporation analysis, affirms that the New York Health Act (“Medicare for All New York”) would cost less than our current health care. The highly regarded, centrist, independent, nonprofit confirmed that NY Health would reduce total health-care costs — despite increasing spending on actual health care — by decreasing spending on administrative waste and insurance company profits.  

Specifically, RAND concludes that NY Health will provide all essential health care to every New Yorker; save substantial money for 19 million of us; create 180,000 new jobs, increasing employment by 2 percent; eliminate county Medicaid contributions and make New York businesses more competitive. Little reported, but important to millions of New Yorkers, NY Health will also fully cover long-term care, and still save money.

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Letter: Mannion right about health care, Dr. Sunny Aslam, Auburn Citizen

Dr. Sunny Aslam,  Jamesville, Sep 16, 2018

I am supporting John Mannion for New York state Senate because he will be a champion for the New York Health Act which will be life-saving for my patients and businesses. Health costs are crushing businesses, which spend $2 billion each year simply selecting health care plans for employees (www.infoshare.org/main/Economic_Analysis_New_York_Health_Act_-_GFriedman_-_April_2015.pdf).

John's opponent has no health care plan except the wonders of the marketplace. This has never worked for health care. The most efficient form of health care financing is traditional Medicare's 2-percent administrative costs as reported by the Medicare trustees every year in both Republican and Democrat administrations.

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LETTER: Martz's healthcare support is needed for our future, Dr. Wendy Aronson Glen Falls Post-Star

By Wendy Aronson, M.D., Lake Luzerne,   Oct 4, 2018

The cost of health services incurred by 45 million uninsured Americans is estimated to be $99 billion. Who pays when someone with no insurance visits an emergency room needing the legally mandated “stabilization,” if not immediate admission? The answers include:

  1. The uninsured patient, spending a larger fraction of his income than his insured neighbor.
  2. Hospitals and doctors, providing care gratis or for reduced fees.
  3. Charities, whose funding comes ultimately from the public.
  4. Local and federal taxes collected from that same public.

This brings us to the question of single payer health care and the proposed New York Health Act already passed several times by the Assembly. While its Senate passage and implementation would certainly raise payroll and employer-paid taxes, perhaps by 150 percent (RAND,) the total New York expenditure on health care would not increase. New Yorkers would shift only where and how they pay. Millions of us would reap medical security.

Betty Little has been a state Senator for 15 years. As a North Country person, she knows that 12 percent of Warren County lives below the poverty line and 5 percent is uninsured. Nonetheless, she votes to keep the act locked in committee.

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ARTICLE: Kingston council considers support for NY Health Act, Kingston Freeman

By Ariél Zangla azangla@freemanonline.com @arielatfreeman on TwitterSep 28, 2018

 

KINGSTON, N.Y. — City lawmakers are considering a memorializing resolution that would call on the state Legislature to adopt, and the governor to sign, the proposed New York Health Act.

The act would create a single-payer health care system for all New York residents. 

"It would be an immense step to help New Yorkers throughout the state, but also definitely here in Kingston, to get health care," Common Council Majority Leader Reynolds Scott-Childress told the council's Public Safety/General Government Committee on Wednesday. "It's a step toward universal health care." 

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LETTER: Support candidates who support NY Health Act, Laura McClure, Oneonta Daily Star

By Laura McClure, Oct 2, 2018

Americans are fed up with our health care system. In August, a Reuters-Ipsos poll found that 70 percent of us — including most Republicans — want Medicare for All, a universal public insurance system that is both cheaper and more effective than our current private hodgepodge.

Unfortunately, our major political parties are lagging behind the public on this, at least nationally.

But in New York state, we are on the brink of change. Last year, the New York Health Act — which would create a public insurance system covering all New Yorkers — was ONE VOTE short of passing the state Senate, and passed easily in the Assembly.

Our State Sen. James Seward not only opposes the NY Health Act, he’s an active obstacle to it as chair of the Assembly’s Insurance Committee.

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SERIES: Healthcare in America #17, Susanna Beh, This Is the Bronx

This is part of an ongoing series that gives Bronx writers a chance to share their personal stories on the state of healthcare in America.

by Susanna Behr,  September 30, 2018

Health Insurance: My Catch 22.

For many people, health insurance is the catch-22 made popular in Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel. If you are healthy and have insurance with a high deductible (even apart from co-pays), you wind up paying a lot for no benefit. If, however, you develop a serious illness, you pay far more — both the premiums and the full deductible before getting any benefit — and, even then, you will still pay many costs.

Here’s the catch: if you get better, you might lose your job. Your illness will raise the group rate of your employer (in order for the insurer can recoup the “medical loss”) — so your illness will make you very expensive for your employer. Then you might have trouble finding another job. Although it’s illegal to discriminate based on medical conditions, it’s usually hard to prove that that’s why you’re getting rejected from jobs you can do.

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SERIES: Healthcare in America #16, Miriam L. Helbok, This Is the Bronx

This is part of an ongoing series that gives Bronx writers a chance to share their personal stories on the state of healthcare in America.

by Miriam Levine Helbok, September 16, 2018

I witnessed first-hand the last years of an aunt’s life in an excellent nursing home in the Bronx and the last years of my mother’s life with 24/7 care at home, also in the Bronx. During the last decade I have been paying upwards of $5,000 annually for long-term-care insurance for myself. What I saw and have experienced have convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt of the vital necessity for implementing a single-payer government-run system of health insurance in New York State as well as the nation as a whole.

My aunt entered what is now known as the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation in the late 1990s, when she was in her late 80s. At that time, as I recall, the monthly fee was between $6,000 and $7,000. When my aunt’s $100,000 in savings were used up, Medicaid paid for her stay in the home. She had her own room, as did all the other residents, and got excellent care until her death, in her late 90s. I imagine that by that time, the monthly fee was even higher.

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Kingston Common Council supports New York Health Act

KINGSTON – The City of Kingston Common Council unanimously adopted a memorializing resolution Tuesday evening to support the New York State Legislature’s approval, and the governor’s signing, of the New York Health Act.

The New York Health Act would support the under-insured, or uninsured, residents of the state, giving them an out to having to deal with the astronomical costs incurred by care provided without insurance. The legislation would also keep residents with pre-existing conditions from being put into high-risk pools.

Jess Robie, a registered nurse and member of campaign for New York Health, was among several people who attended the council session to show their support for the resolution.

“I feel so hopeful,” said Robie. “On many levels, it’s amazing to see a community come together, be respectful, speak politely to each other and voice their opinions, and then to hear the aldermen speak with such compassion and care and integrity about their community is really hopeful,”

 

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SERIES: Healthcare in America #15, Judith Lieben, This Is the Bronx

This is part of an ongoing series that gives Bronx writers a chance to share their personal stories on the state of healthcare in America.

By Judith Lieben, Sept 9, 2018

Michael’s Nightmares and Insurance Hassles

My husband died after a lingering illness and he regularly had nightmares that his medical care would leave me bankrupt, without a house, food, or safety. These nightmares were so life-like that he would lie awake with his heart racing and sweating, causing medical people to come running (because of the monitors) and I was the only one who could bring him back to waking reality: “Are you sure all this is covered? Have you talked with the insurer? Are you sure? I want you safe. I can’t have all this treatment if you won’t be safe.”

When fully awake, Michael knew he was lucky. His job brought him “Cadillac insurance.” Almost everything was covered — although not for “free.” Regularly over the course of about 5 years, we would get billed for thousands of dollars. I’d pick up the phone, because he was often too sick to deal with details like this — sick people shouldn’t have to argue to get the benefits they’ve paid for. 

Continue reading here: http://www.thisisthebronx.info/weekday-magazine-healthcare-in-america-an-ongoing-series-15/

 

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SERIES: Healthcare in America, Alessandra Biaggi, This Is the Bronx

by Alessandra Biaggi, Sept 2, 2018

I’m Alessandra Biaggi and I support universal healthcare in New York State as well as the NY Health Act. I’m sending my story to thisistheBronXbecause my family is typical of many of the people in district 34 whose vote I seek.

I have many healthcare stories but the one I want to share with you today is about my father who has Parkinson’s disease.

In 2012 my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and so, from that point forward, the number of pills that he’s had to take has increased and decreased depending upon how well he’s doing each month. My dad is on my mom’s health insurance plan. My mom’s health insurance, which is actually through a public hospital, does not have a rider because it’s very expensive to add prescription drugs.

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EDITORIAL: Market does not work to control drug prices, Middletown Times-Herald

September 13, 2018

Shop for a new car or snow blower and you can compare prices with a few clicks. But try shopping for the medications that keep you alive and the process is not so easy. In fact, it can be downright deadly.

That’s the only conclusion from the latest depressing news courtesy of the New York Public Interest Research Group into the widely varying prices of prescription drugs in the state and the difficulty people have in navigating their way through a confusing landscape….

But the real solution that would help all New Yorkers, especially those without health insurance, requires thinking bigger. There are legitimate proposals in the state Legislature for a single-payer system of health care in New York, one that would provide universal coverage at lower overall costs.

As candidates ask for your votes this fall, ask them what they are planning to do about this important issue should they get elected.

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LETTER: New York Health Act an effort to save lives, The Rev. Andrea Abbott, Watertown Daily Times

by The Rev. Andrea Abbott, Sept 8, 2018

With the huge profits the system generates for a small group of people, it’s not surprising some want to maintain the status quo. But doctors and hospitals know better: Richard Duvall, CEO of non-profit Carthage Hospital, says, “Everyone recognizes the current system isn’t working.”

As minister to a rural, upstate congregation, too often I see medical crises harm families. Many of my parishioners cannot find work that gives them insurance, instead balancing multiple part-time jobs or independent contracting — working hard, but constantly worried that an expensive illness or accident will topple them into homelessness.

Refusing to propel their family into financial ruin, one parishioner planned suicide. We found help, but I remain haunted by the specter of uncounted others who act before voicing their financial and moral despair.

Any society that rations health care based on income, monetizes life and death, is morally destitute and diminishes us all.

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LETTER: Misconceptions about single-payer healthcare, Eve Madalengoitia, Poughkeepsie Record

By Eve Madalengoitia, Sept 7, 2018

Contrary to what Helmut M. Gartner states in his letter "Single-payer health care system is not the answer"of Aug 30, healthcare did not become expensive because of the federal government. Healthcare is expensive because insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Approximately 30 percent of the money we pay insurance companies is not spent on services for our health – it is spent on high administrative costs and multi-million dollar salaries for the CEO’s 

Further, Mr. Gartner expresses an inaccuracy in stating that the government will take over the entire American health care system, equating single-payer and socialized medicine. Single-payer is when there is one payer for services....

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LETTER: Metzger will improve health care in NY, Owen Reynolds, Times Herald

By Owen Reynolds, Sept 3

Jen Metzger is running in the Democratic primary for the 42nd state Senate District on Thursday, Sept. 13. She will advocate for you on health care. Jen supports the New York Health Act, which will provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker and would replace private insurance coverage. New York Health pays the bill.

You would choose your own doctors and nurses and will be covered for: primary, preventive, and specialty care; hospitalization; mental health; substance abuse treatment; reproductive health; dental, vision, and hearing; and prescription drugs and medical supplies. Within two years of passage, long-term care will be covered. It will be more comprehensive than commercial health plans.

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LETTER: On Labor Day, march for affordable healthcare, Dr. Dennis Nave, Syracuse

By Dr. Dennis Nave, Sept 2

On Sept. 3, the Greater Syracuse labor Council with join the rest of the labor community in America to celebrate its working men and women this Labor Day. We will recognize the hard work and sacrifices they make to keep America great. We will recognize the rich history of labor in America during struggles for equality for every member of society.

While it would seem we should all be thankful for low unemployment, our struggle does not end there. Real wages in the second quarter dropped 1.4 percent year over year, the largest drop in five years. More and more workers are being priced out of affordable healthcare, with increasing deductibles and increased pharmaceutical costs, while their real wages are decreasing. Over the past century, labor has fought to correct discrimination in the workplace.

We have another type of discrimination in America: healthcare availability. Physicians and other healthcare workers and affiliates are often frustrated in the delivery of healthcare that is based on the type of insurance coverage a patient has instead of on their medical needs. It is time for provider groups, labor, government, insurance carriers and pharmaceutical companies to come together and devise a true universal care system that treats all of America's workers the same. This is how America remains competitive in a world economy, by ensuring the proper healthcare delivery that treats all Americans equally, not the patchwork system we have today. This is how we keep America great moving forward, treating our workers with respect and giving them the benefits they have already earned.

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LETTER: On Labor Day, march for affordable healthcare, Dr. Dennis Nave, Syracuse

By Dr. Dennis Nave, Sept 2

On Sept. 3, the Greater Syracuse labor Council with join the rest of the labor community in America to celebrate its working men and women this Labor Day. We will recognize the hard work and sacrifices they make to keep America great. We will recognize the rich history of labor in America during struggles for equality for every member of society.

While it would seem we should all be thankful for low unemployment, our struggle does not end there. Real wages in the second quarter dropped 1.4 percent year over year, the largest drop in five years. More and more workers are being priced out of affordable healthcare, with increasing deductibles and increased pharmaceutical costs, while their real wages are decreasing. Over the past century, labor has fought to correct discrimination in the workplace.

We have another type of discrimination in America: healthcare availability. Physicians and other healthcare workers and affiliates are often frustrated in the delivery of healthcare that is based on the type of insurance coverage a patient has instead of on their medical needs. It is time for provider groups, labor, government, insurance carriers and pharmaceutical companies to come together and devise a true universal care system that treats all of America's workers the same. This is how America remains competitive in a world economy, by ensuring the proper healthcare delivery that treats all Americans equally, not the patchwork system we have today. This is how we keep America great moving forward, treating our workers with respect and giving them the benefits they have already earned.

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ARTICLE: Peter Diachun, running to pass single-payer health care, vows one term, Niagara Gazette

By Tim Fenster, Sept 2

For the first time in four years, Sen. Rob Ortt will face a challenger in his run for reelection, but his opponent's name won't be listed in the column for Democrats.

Peter Diachun, a retired chemist and political novice, is running on the Green Party line for the senate seat, and is running with a central goal: to pass single-payer health care throughout the state.

Diachun, 75, of Lewiston, said that if elected, he would serve only one term, and joked that he might leave early if he can cast a decisive vote to pass the New York Health Act.

The act would provide universal health care to every New Yorker, without premiums, deductibles or co-pays...

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LETTER: Balter is right about health care, Janet Schwenke, Auburn Citizen

Janet Schwenke, August 31

I am writing in response to a letter from Josephine Thomas, titled "Balter's plan for Medicare worrisome." I would like to state at the outset that I am also a senior, also a recipient of both Social Security checks and Medicare benefits. I would really like to know where the author gets the idea that Dana Balter is in favor of cutting Social Security payments and "placing huge tax burdens on the backs of seniors" to pay for Medicare expansion.

The only discussion I have heard of any abridgement of Social Security "entitlements" (and yes, I am entitled to the money I paid in all those years!) has come from the same Republicans in Congress who ran up the deficit with their bogus tax windfall for the wealthy and now seek to cover their behinds! Does the letter writer realize that no one is taxed for Social Security on income over $128,400 a year, yet they are also free to take it at age 66/67?

These are the same folks who benefited most from the Republican tax plan, I might add....

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