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VIDEO: Rochester Hearing weighs pros and cons of single-payer health care, WROC, Rochester First

By WROC Staff, Oct 10, 2019

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The New York State Senate and Assembly Health Committees were in Rochester Thursday for a public hearing on the New York Health Act.

The New York Health Act, known legally as Senate Bill S3577, would establish universal, single-payer coverage for all New Yorkers. The program would be publicly funded, including existing federal support for Medicaid and Medicare.

THIS MORNING: Supporters of universal healthcare speak ahead of hearing on New York Health Act at University of Rochester. We’re hearing from both sides tonight on  — Jack Watson (@JackWatsonTV) October 10, 2019

Supporters say the passage of this bill wold mean New Yorkers would no longer have to pay premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out-of-network charges, or have limited provider options....The Rochester hearing is the second in as series of statewide hearings on the bill, with other hearings scheduled to take place in New York City and the Hudson Valley. Video and a transcript from the first meeting is available online.

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POV: Proposed legislation would help New York's farm families, Henderson, Democrat & Chronicle

By Elizabeth Henderson, Oct 9, 2019

Elizabeth Henderson farmed for over 30 years in Newark, Wayne County, and is a member of the Board of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York.

Despite New York farms being an essential part of the economy, many family-scale farmers (or their spouse) have to take an off-farm job that includes health insurance among its benefits. For the first 20 years of farming, I did not have any health insurance. I finally was able to afford a policy with big deductions when our farm’s customers, the members of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), voted to raise the amount they paid us for shares of produce each week so that we could afford health insurance. Knowing that we worked long hours in all kinds of weather using equipment that can be dangerous, they wanted us to have coverage.

It is a financial stretch for farmers to provide the most basic coverage for our employees, not to mention comprehensive coverage that includes vision, dental, hearing, mental health and long-term care and support services. Employer health coverage spending as a share of payroll is up more than 50 percent in a decade, and many farmers pay even higher percentages than larger companies.

The New York Health Act will guarantee comprehensive coverage to every resident and make care accessible by removing means-testing and financial barriers to healthcare. Eliminating the financial burden for employers to buy health coverage will make New York farm jobs more attractive. And the New York Health Act guarantees coverage regardless of immigration status. (By official estimates, over half the workers on NY farms are undocumented. ) The New York Health Act will alleviate the burden that many immigrants face in navigating the complexity of health insurance plans, many of which exclude their participation completely....

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LETTER: NY Health Act will cut the bureaucracy, Jean-Francois Briere, Times Union

By Jean-Francois Briere, Delmar, Oct 1, 2019

I was struck by the incoherence of "Proposed New York Health Act would be too costly" (Sept. 21). Three examples:

The author tells us that single payer insurance in New York state would be too expensive. Then, he goes on explaining that single payer insurance (at the federal level with Medicare and Medicaid) pays health care providers too little. You can't have it both ways: either it costs too much or it costs too little.

He tells us that the city of Pittsburgh has more MRI machines than the totality of Canada without realizing that this is the very reason why MRI exams are far more expensive in the U.S.: too many machines for too few patients.

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ARTICLE: Alpacas, not super PACs': Comegys injects fun, Robert Harding, AuburnPub

By Roberty Harding, Sept 23, 2019

Scott Comegys has positions on the most important issues facing all levels of governments. But as he campaigns for the 130th Assembly District seat, he wants to have some fun....

During his first campaign, it wasn't a secret that he is an alpaca farmer. He's a full-time town of Palmyra employee and spends his off time tending to 12 alpacas, chickens and a small vegetable farm. ...

The other issues that are part of Comegys' platform haven't changed from the 2018 race. He supports the New York Health Act, a bill introduced by Democratic legislators to establish a statewide single-payer health care system. The goal of the bill is to provide universal coverage, but he also noted that it would change how health insurance is funded in New York. 

"One of the main things that we pay for from our property taxes — what we're always being told — is 80% of that goes straight into Medicaid," Comegys said. "We have an option instead to take that Medicaid cost out of our property taxes, put it into a payroll tax that is more equitable as far as people paying for it and go into the New York Health Act. I think that would make people a lot happier and give them certainly more security in their health care."

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ARTICLE: Senator Amedore Faces Second Challenger, Chris Rowley, Shawangunk Journal

By Chris Rowley, Sept 6, 2019

NEW YORK – Jeff Collins, best known as a founder of the Hudson Valley Sudbury School in Woodstock, has thrown his hat into the ring for the 46th District’s State Senate seat currently held by George Amedore. The election will be held in 2020, and Collins will face Michelle Hinchey for the Democratic party nomination. Collins currently sits on the Woodstock Zoning Board of Appeals.

The 46th District runs from Marbletown and High Falls, up to the outskirts of Albany, and then executes a westward hook up the Mohawk Valley to the outskirts of Herkimer. Kingston is the biggest population center....

Collins has made healthcare issues the centerpiece of his campaign. He says he will press for a “single-payer” system in New York State. Collins said, “We’re a large enough state that we can enact a single-payer system, and have that system be a test bed for the rest of the nation, and show what happens when we really believe that health insurance should value people over profits, and that health care really is a human right.” He has also added his support to the proposed New York Health Act, which would set up a single-payer option in the state....

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LETTER: Home Health Aides: Low Wages, Long Hours, Phyllis Arnold, NYTimes

By Phyllis Arnold, Sept. 6, 2019 

On Duty Around the Clock, 27 Days a Month” (front page, Sept. 2) describes the horror of giving and getting care in this country. Working conditions for the caregivers — among the poorest and most marginalized people in the work force — are beyond nightmarish. And the scramble around making impossible decisions about what to give up and where to get the money to pay for care awaits almost all of us.

The caregiver and client in the story are two of the millions trapped in a fragmented, burdensome and failing care delivery system.

We cannot effectively address the issues piecemeal. We must instead look toward integrated, publicly supported, universal long-term care — including a serious examination of proposals like Universal Family Careand the New York Health Act. It is time to give the caring economy its due.

Phyllis Arnold

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LETTER: Join Us to Learn about the New York Health Act, Maddie Hunter, River Journal

By Maddie Hunter, on behalf of the Health Committee, CCoHOPE Indivisible, Sept 5, 2019

Last month one of the most trusted pharmaceutical companies in our country, Johnson and Johnson, was found by a court in Oklahoma to be liable for its contribution to the opioid crisis. The court ordered the corporation to pay the State of Oklahoma nearly half a billion dollars. Other pharmaceutical companies are in the headlines for playing games with patent protections or unjustifiably raising prices on life saving drugs.

I have a personal interest in the issue of drug costs. I am a cancer patient and a retiree. I rely on Medicare, supplemental insurance and a Part D drug plan to obtain a life-saving medication for an incurable blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. I am lucky to have these supports, but my copays end up being over $800 a month. Each year that I have used this medication, the copay has gone up at least twice. This run-away cost profile isn’t sustainable for me or for many other Myeloma patients I have met.

Fortunately, the State of New York is considering a fundamental solution to the problem of drug prices and the cost of care generally. The New York Health Actis a comprehensive single-payer plan that will provide better health care, better overall coverage, and lower costs....

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LETTER: Pipes gets it all wrong when it comes to doctor shortages, Helen Krim, Riverdale Press

By Helen Meltzer-Krim, Sept 1, 2019

Sally Pipes, a marketer paid by a Koch-funded California think tank, misrepresents facts in her recent Point of View. She maintains that there will be an exodus from the profession, and a severe shortage of doctors as a result of single-payer health care.

This is nonsense.

Pipes cites burnout as a factor in driving doctors from the profession, and then makes the unfounded assumption that the paperwork would be worse under Medicare for All.

Doctors disagree. In New York state, there are 55 insurance companies, each with its own set of plans and formularies. Surveys by the New York State Nurses Association indicate that 50 percent of doctors identify insurance company plans as the cause of burnout, since they spend hours fighting with insurance companies to provide their patients with appropriate medication and service....

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ARTICLE: Senate Health Chair leads fact finding trip to Toronto, David Lombardo, TimesUnion

By David Lombardo, Aug 28, 2019

Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera is leading a delegation to Toronto to study the Canadian single-payer healthcare system.

The two-day trip, which will include a tour of sites where supervised drug use is allowed, is designed to gain information about major health care issues that could potentially be addressed in next year’s legislative session.

Legislation enacting the New York Health Act, which creates a single-payer system in New York, and the Overdose Prevention Centers Act, which establishes supervised sites for drug use, both stalled in the Capitol this year.

“The New York Health Act and the Overdose Prevention Centers Act are key policies being widely debated in New York as we face skyrocketing health care costs that are impeding access to quality care and an unprecedented rate of overdose deaths,” Rivera, a Bronx Democrat, said in a statement....

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LETTER: Support state’s universal health care proposal, Kathleen Stein, NNY360

NNY360 Powered by Watertown Daily Times and Northern New York Newspapers

By Kathleen Stein, Aug 16, 2019

The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of St. Lawrence County.

Medicare and Medicaid turned 54 on July 30. Yet half a century after these popular “entitlements” were created, the United States remains the only developed country without universal health care. The rest of the world admires many things about America, but our for-profit system of health insurance is not among them.

A comprehensive national plan may not be in the immediate cards. New Yorkers, however, need not wait for Congress to pass (and a president to sign) a Medicare for All bill — which may take awhile. The New York Health Act, pending in the state Legislature, would make an expanded version of Medicare available to all residents of the state. Moreover, it includes dental, vision and mental health coverage as well as long-term care — none of which are provided by Medicare. Earlier versions of the NYHA have passed the state Assembly in each of the last three sessions only to stall in the Senate. The bill coincides, in broad outline, with the national bills introduced by Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Pramila Jayapal in the House....

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ARTICLE: New Paltz Town/Village Boards endorse single-payer health care for New Yorkers, hv1

By Frances Marion Platt, Aug 12, 2019 — Hudson Valley One

At a joint meeting on August 1, the New Paltz Town and Village Boards unanimously approved a resolution urging passage of the New York Health Act (NYHA), A.4738/S.4840. First introduced in 1992 by Manhattan assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the bill establishing a single-payer health care system in New York State has passed in the Assembly for the past four terms, but invariably stalled in the State Senate, where its primary sponsor is senator Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx.

Under NYHA, doctors and hospitals would be paid for their work by a single tax-supported fund, similar to Medicare, rather than through hundreds of insurance companies as under the current multi-payer system. Instead of the multitude of plans currently available, each with different networks of providers and different services covered, every resident, regardless of age, employment status or preexisting conditions, is automatically enrolled in the same comprehensive plan. NYHA fully covers all medically necessary services: comprehensive outpatient and inpatient medical care, primary and preventive care, prescription drugs, laboratory tests, mental health, reproductive health, rehabilitation, dental, vision, hearing, medical supply costs and even long-term care....

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ARTICLE: New Paltz Town/Village Boards endorse single-payer health care for New Yorkers, hv1

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VIDEO: Senator Gustavo Rivera interviewed on BronxTalk, Gary Axelbank

By Gary Axelbank, July 22, 2019

Sen. Rivera who just completed his first session as chair of the Health Committee, talked at length about the issues confronting a potential conversion to a single-payer plan in the NY Health Act. He also, explained why he chose not to run for congress, was blunt about his thoughts on the Trump administration, and commented on a few of the State’s legislative achievements in the last session.

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November 21, 2019

Contact: Katie Robbins, [email protected], 917-657-4663

Outraged New Yorkers Picket the NY Health Plan Association for Deadly Denials and Racist Algorithm 

Video of grieving father Scott Desnoyers and family being ejected from the meeting:

November 21, 2019, Albany, NY – Activists from a coalition of healthcare professionals, unions and grassroots groups picketed the annual conference of the New York Health Plan Association (NYHPA), a trade association for the state’s health insurance companies.

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November 19, 2019


Katie Robbins, Campaign for New York Health, [email protected], 917-657-4663




Activists Announce Picket Against NY Health Plan Association to Protest

 Deadly Denials and Racially Biased Limitations on Care 


(Albany, NY)  A coalition of patients, healthcare professionals, unions and activist groups will picket the annual conference of the New York Health Plan Association (NYHPA) to protest the industry’s widely-practiced methods that lead to devastating consequences for patients.

Advocates were shocked when the NYHPA canceled the paid registration for Stillwater resident Scott Desnoyers to attend the meeting. Scott recently wrote an OpEd about his son’s tragic death.  After missing a premium payment of $20, FidelisCare canceled his plan, which prevented him from being able to afford life-saving anti-depression medication, after which he committed suicide. (FidelisCare had $60 billion in revenue in 2018.) Advocates will be demanding transparency and that NYHPA stop shutting out patients.

Earlier this month, the New York State Departments of Health and Financial Services launched an investigation into UnitedHealth Group for the use of an algorithm that limits care to sicker Black patients, while biasing reimbursements toward healthier white patients. This algorithm is widely used in the industry according to UnitedHealth Group’s own promotional materials. Inside the conference, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, Michael McGuire, will be moderating a panel at the conference on “Understanding Cost Drivers.”

What: Picket outside the annual conference of the New York Health Plan Association (NYHPA)

Who: Patient advocates; nurses and healthcare providers; labor representatives; small business; and other health care experts and advocates

Where: 55 Eagle St. (corner of Eagle and Howard), Albany, NY

When: Thursday, November 21, 12:00PM-1:00PM 


See last year’s disruption and picket.

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October 10th, 2019



Katie Robbins [email protected] | 917-657-4663

Mohini Sharma | [email protected] | 585-623-9633



Upstate Hearing Highlights Popular Support for 

Universal, Guaranteed Healthcare 

Sharing personal struggles and expert testimony, dozens testified in support 

of the New York Health Act 

Rochester, NY— The second in a series of regional public hearings on the New York Health Act [A.5248, S.3577] convened in Rochester today. In a packed room, dozens of people testified to the Assembly and Senate Health Committees in support of the New York Health Act, including representatives from labor, healthcare and social service providers, upstate businesses, workers, farmers, patients, and care-givers. 

The New York Health Act would establish a universal, guaranteed healthcare system, also known as a single-payer health plan covering all New York State residents. It would provide complete health coverage without deductibles, co-pays, restricted provider networks, or out-of-network charges. Primary, preventive, and specialty care; hospitalization; mental health; substance abuse treatment; reproductive health; dental, vision, and hearing; and prescription drugs and medical supplies would all be covered. 


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LETTER: Don't be fooled by naysayers, Henry Moss, Riverdale Press

By Henry Moss, August 18, 2019

The July 25 op-ed opposing Medicare for All by Sally Pipes is riddled with errors and exaggerations. This is not surprising given her prominent position in a right-wing Libertarian organization funded by the notorious billionaire Koch brothers.

Citing no evidence and clearly unfamiliar with the Medicare for All bills in Congress, she uses scare tactics to suggest that physicians will quit and hospitals will close were Medicare for All to be enacted. The bills, however, include no specifics on hospital and physician payments, stating only that payment will be negotiated with providers based on a reasonable estimate of the actual cost of providing care.

The House bill (H.R. 1384), for example, indicates that the government will negotiate operating budgets with individual hospitals and nursing homes based on historical costs, expected increases, patient population characteristics, and needed operating improvements, including achieving safe nurse staffing levels.

Capital budgets will be handled separately, so that a poor rural hospital will get its first MRI machine before an elite urban institution gets its fifth, or an unneeded new branch....

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LETTER: Leading on Affordable Healthcare, Leonard Rodberg, NY Daily News

By Dr. Leonard Rodberg, Queens College professor emeritus of Urban Studies, Aug 8, 2019

Manhattan: Re John Flanagan’s “A bad Rx for New York” (op-ed, Aug. 2): While most New Yorkers do have some type of health coverage, those with private insurance face rising premiums and costly deductibles, co-pays and out-of-network charges that, in too many cases, make it impossible for them to actually get the care they need.

Nearly half of New Yorkers are already covered by the public Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance programs. Under the New York Health Act, everyone would be covered. No one would face financial barriers when they needed care (including long-term care), and access would no longer be controlled by insurance companies more concerned with their bottom lines than with the health of New Yorkers. Care would be tax-funded and, as the recent report from the RAND Corp. showed, would cost the vast majority of New Yorkers less than they now spend.

As the New York metro research director of Physicians for a National Health Program, I say that it’s time that New York led the way in making access to quality health care available to everyone. Leonard Rodberg, Queens College professor emeritus of Urban Studies

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LETTER: Leading on Affordable Healthcare, Leonard Rodberg, NY Daily News

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ARTICLE: Officials Voice, Support for Single-Payer Health Care, Nick Reisman, Spectrum (Central NY)

By Nick Reisman, August 8, 2019

Assemblyman Phil Steck is a supporter of a state-level version of single-payer health care. He says the debate over how to pay for health care costs in the U.S. will have an impact on New York's own debate over the proposed New York Health Act.  

"From a standpoint of cost savings, which is what we really need, the economy is spending way too much on health insurance. We need the single-payer plan," Steck said….  

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LETTER: Catastrophes are just imaginary, Elizabeth Rosenthal, Riverdale Press

By Elizabeth Rosenthal, MD, August 11, 2019

Sally Pipes’ imaginary scenario for what would happen to doctors and hospitals in this country if we adopted Medicare for All is just that: imaginary. All the evidence from history, both here and in other countries, shows us that the reality is completely different.

When Medicare was adopted in this country, it did not bring in socialism any more than our public schools, fire and police departments, libraries and parks did.

In other countries where single-payer plans were adopted — such as in Canada and Taiwan — they did not bring about all the catastrophes predicted by Ms. Pipes….

The incentives are all wrong in our system where private, for-profit insurance companies earn profits by denying care and successfully avoiding sick people. The more care they deliver, the lower the profits. And these companies are the ones that impose burdensome bureaucratic tasks upon doctors, not the government….

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LETTER: Tackling everything from abortion to marijuana, Richard Warren, Riverdale Press

By Richard Warren, Aug 5, 2019

I’m also glad that Biaggi will still be pushing for the New York Health Act. But then there’s Sally Pipes, the president and chief executive of the so-called think tank, the Pacific Research Institute. They think the free market — made up of many business people who care about nothing but profit — will magically solve our health care problems (re: Medicare for All will cripple doctors, hospitals,” July 25).

How using the health care model that the rest of the developed world successfully uses to cover all of its citizens will bankrupt our hospitals and drive doctors to other professions is a mystery to me....

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POV: The health insurance system's cruel indifference, Scott Desnoyers, Times Union

By Scott Desnoyers, Aug. 5, 2019

This was a $20 premium payment to his health insurer, FidelisCare, that he had missed because his phone had been shut off and he was moving. He never received the notice. When he learned about it, Danny paid the premium immediately, but FidelisCare told him that because it was past the first of the month, his plan would not resume until May.

Danny was on medications for depression. Without insurance, the medications cost $250. Danny could not afford that. Danny had no other choice. If we had Medicare for All — or, for New York state, the New York Health Act (NYHA) — my son would not have had to endure three weeks without his medications….

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POV: Happy Birthday, Medicare! Let’s Improve It, Elisabeth Rosenthal, LoHud

Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, M.D., Special to the USA TODAY NETWORK, July 31, 2019

Before 1965, half our seniors could not afford healthcare, paying doctors with chickens and corn; a quarter of Americans with chest pain feared medical cost more than death. 

Paid by the American Medical Association, Ronald Reagan criss-crossed the country, warning Americans that protecting the elderly with guaranteed healthcare would cause us to one day to “wake to find that we have socialism."

Despite virulent opposition, on July 30, 1965, Medicare became law.  It’s now America’s most trusted government program.   It reduces poverty among seniors. It increases grandma’s life expectancy. A majority of Americans  — Republicans, Independents, Democrats — want Medicare for everyone. 

As a physician, I know 54-year-old Medicare has issues. For many, it’s too expensive, with premiums, co-pays and deductibles. And there are too many health needs — needs critical to the health of the elderly — that Medicare doesn’t cover:  hearing, vision, dental and long-term care.  Patients who lack teeth are often under-nourished. Those with vision and hearing problems can become socially isolated, and then despondent…. 

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POV: New York needs universal health care, Alessandra Biaggi, New York Daily News

By Alessandra Biaggi, NY Senator for portions of the Bronx and Westchester County, July 30, 2019

When President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965, establishing the first ever government health insurance for civilians, he remarked: “because the need for…action is plain…we marvel not simply at the passage of this bill, but what we marvel at is that it took so many years to pass.”

Fifty-four years later, as we consider the number of New Yorkers who still lack access to quality, affordable healthcare — and our relative inaction — his words resonate louder than ever.

With Medicare and Medicaid, we took the first step toward establishing health care as a right. Before 1965, private insurance was the only option. It remained out of reach for half of our nation’s seniors, forcing them to choose between emptying their savings or forgoing care altogether. By creating Medicare and Medicaid, the federal government intervened for the first time to ensure that seniors and low-income Americans were guaranteed health coverage — regardless of their ability to pay….

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LETTER: Passage of NY Health Act vital for young farmers, Bari Zeiger, Kingston Daily Freeman

By Bari Zeiger, president of the Greater Catskills Young Farmers Coalition, July 28, 2019

Farmers provide society with the nourishment required for life, and they steward numerous other crucial resources, such as air and water. 

However, when it comes to taking care of farmers, many face significant obstacles to accessing sufficient, affordable health care.

Agricultural work is physically and mentally intense; there are long hours bending and lifting (sometimes with potentially hazardous equipment, chemicals and/or livestock) in the sun and in treacherous conditions, as well as a seemingly continuous stream of unpredictable stressors that can threaten already thin profit margins.

The New York Health Act was identified as the highest priority among respondents in a 2018 survey that asked young New York farmers about the importance of several policy issues. Lack of health care access infringes on the ability of farmers to actualize their tremendous potential, as many are forced to find jobs off the farm to receive health benefits. Others may avoid addressing health concerns because of lack of coverage, or too little coverage, until they escalate to the point of emergency….

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POV: Celebrating a birth, anticipating a rebirth, Barbara Estrin, Riverdale Press

By Barbara Estrin, July 28, 2019

Happy 54th birthday, Medicare! You increase our life expectancy and quality of life. You’re our most trusted health care program.

We want to extend the gift of life you have given us down through the generations — for our children and grandchildren — now.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed you into law on July 30, 1965. Millions of elderly Americans were dying, unseen by doctors, either unable to afford health insurance, or denied it because of pre-existing conditions.

To get you passed, Johnson compromised, guaranteeing for-profit insurers a continued role in Medicare and in the federal-state partnership of Medicaid, created at the same time. Pharmaceutical companies also got a win: a drug plan for seniors got scrapped.

Within 11 months (all records kept on paper and transported to the U.S. Postal Service), 19 million elderly Americans got Medicare cards, starting with Harry Truman, on July 1, 1966.

A federal agency, with only a handful of staff, was tasked with certifying full integration across more than 1,700 hospitals….

  • Racial disparities — health justice ...
  • Bad fixes in Medicare ...
  • Fraud control: Multi-payer upcharging ...

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AUDIO & NEWS: Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner Holds Town Hall In Saratoga Springs, WAMC

By Lucas Willard, July 26, 2019

New York State Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, a Democrat who represents portions of Washington and Saratoga Counties, invited residents to a town hall meeting in Saratoga Springs Thursday night.

Marijuana, healthcare, property taxes, and more. 113th District Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner discussed a slew of issues at a town hall meeting at the Saratoga Springs Public Library….

Respondents within the district are becoming more receptive to single-payer healthcare. Four months ago, Woerner said 60 percent of respondents were in favor of a single-payer system. Today, that’s increased to 70 percent.

“I hear more people being in favor of this than I certainly did five years ago when I started.”

Woerner still has concerns about a single-payer model and the so-called New York Health Act, however. In a district where rural healthcare has become a primary concern, and in communities with older populations that rely on Medicare, Woerner says she is wary about how reimbursement rates for a single-payer system would affected local healthcare providers.

“But some of the studies have suggested, the RAND study has suggested, that the reimbursement rates could be cut by 40 percent. Which is a significant cut. And like I said, we’re seeing that where you’ve got high Medicare in the payer mix, it’s not sustainable. So that to me is a concern”….

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LETTER: Single-payer model offers best coverage, Barbara Keber, MD, Albany Times Union

Barbara Keber, MD, President, New York State Academy of Family Physicians,  July 11, 2019

The New York State Academy of Family Physicians, a statewide association of more than 6,000 physicians and medical students, is convinced that a single-payer model for health insurance is the best one for providing universal coverage while controlling costs. While we are pleased that the state Legislature will continue to hold hearings on this important issue, our hope is that the Legislature enacts it next session.

Single-payer would constrain costs by creating a statewide health care budget. It would ensure that all sectors of the health care system operate within those budgetary limits because it would process all claims, bills and payments. Single-payer would reduce the cost of health care simply by eliminating all the redundant forms, rules and procedures. Single-payer's statewide expenditure control would mean less micro-management of patient care….

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LETTER: Some Unions See Single-Payer’s Advantages, Kim Behrens, R.N., WSJ

Kim Behrens, R.N., June 9, 2019

Your editorial “Public Unions vs. Single-Payer” (June 1) fails to highlight a major theme of the historic public hearing: New Yorkers with commercial health insurance increasingly go without care because of cost. That’s according to two surveys carried out this year: one by the Altarum Healthcare Value Hub, the other by the Campaign for New York Health. Both found that no less than 50% of New Yorkers with insurance had to forgo doctor visits or skip filling prescriptions because they couldn’t afford them.

The skyrocketing cost of care is why I and the nurses of the New York State Nurses Association support the New York Health Act—single-payer legislation that will guarantee health care to everyone: free choice of provider, no deductibles, no copays, none of the bills that are driving so many into financial insecurity and even bankruptcy.

You cite a RAND study that says that single-payer would “require an additional $139 billion in annual tax revenue” in New York. What you exclude here is that for households with $105,300 in income, “average health care payments would decrease by $2,800 per person,” according to RAND.

Add up all your health-care costs and compare that total to the tax costs for the vast majority of New Yorkers. What you will see is that single-payer saves them money and that the $139 billion you write about is more than offset by what people are paying today.

This means more money in the pockets of union members who will be paying less for health care. They’ll have health care guaranteed if they get too sick to work, and lose their employer-sponsored insurance.

Kim Behrens, R.N., New York

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