City & State – Lawmakers: Obamacare repeal a complex and complicated equation for New York

By Ashley Hupfl, 2/21/17

The potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the uncertainty over what might replace it have state lawmakers warning of a major budget hole in New York – and wondering how to remedy it.

At City & State’s State of New York Finance event on Tuesday, a panel of lawmakers and industry officials had more questions than solutions for how the state will prepare for and respond to a full repeal of the health care law, widely known as Obamacare.

PRESS ADVISORY – Workers, Patient Advocates, Providers to Testify on Home Care Workforce Needs

Contact:                                                         February 21, 2017
Mischa Sogut
518-455-4941
SogutM@nyassembly.gov

On Wednesday, February 22, the Assembly Committees on Health, Aging, Labor, and Task Force on People with Disabilities will hold a public hearing in New York City on the crisis of New York’s inadequate home care workforce.

Home care allows individuals to receive health care and personal services to live at home instead of in a nursing home or other facility. There is a growing shortage of home care services for the elderly, people with disabilities, and people who are chronically ill. Advocates note that there is a shortage of home care workers that is causing waitlists for these services across the state at a time when demand is increasing. Inadequate Medicaid funding for home care may be a significant obstacle to hiring and keeping people in the home care workforce.

The hearing will focus on obstacles to recruiting, employing, and retaining a sufficient workforce. Witnesses are expected to include patient advocacy groups and self-advocates, home care and disability service providers, and home care workers and organized labor groups.

What:
NYS Assembly public hearing on home care workforce

Who:
-NYS Assembly Committees on Health, Aging, and Labor, and Task Force on People with Disabilities
-Patient advocates and self-advocates
-Service providers
-Home care workers

Where:
250 Broadway
19th Floor
New York, New York
10007

The hearings will also be webcast live at:
http://assembly.state.ny.us/av/

When:
Wednesday, February 22
11 AM

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The Times of Israel: Alt-right website tries to weed out Jews from drug reform

By Madison Margolin, 2/18/17

NEW YORK — Back in 1971, the father of the American “War on Drugs” drew a connection between Jews and cannabis.

“You know it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish,” president Richard Nixon said. “What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob, what is the matter with them? I suppose it’s because most of them are psychiatrists.”

Most Jews are not psychiatrists, of course, just as most marijuana law reform activists are not Jewish. Nixon, however, wasn’t alone in calling Jews out for their involvement in cannabis policy.

An anti-Semitic article published by alt-right website The Daily Stormer in late November entitled “Weed Kikes Attacking Jeff Sessions!” denigrates a number of Jewish activists by name for opposing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions for US Attorney General, a position that directs federal drug law enforcement.

Times-Union: N.Y. lawmakers question health officials on drug prices, executive power, spending

By Claire Hughes, 2/16/17

Drug price controls, the adequacy of Medicaid payments and expanding the power of the Health Department were among the topics discussed at a legislative hearing Thursday on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget for health and Medicaid.

An underlying theme was uncertainty about what action President Donald Trump and a Republican-led Congress might take on the Affordable Care Act, which could affect health insurance subsidies for New Yorkers, and funding for women’s reproductive health clinics, including Planned Parenthood.

 “Much is happening in Washington,” state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told lawmakers. “If the ACA were repealed, that would be a major concern, with millions of people potentially losing health care.”

WBFO: Advocates hope Common Council support will lead to universal healthcare in NY

By Avery Schneider, 2/15/17

For the third year in a row, a bill is traveling through the New York legislature with the goal of creating a statewide single-payer healthcare system – more commonly known as ‘universal healthcare.’ Similar bills passed the state Assembly in 2015 and 2016, but failed to gain Senate approval. With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, advocates see this year’s attempt as more important than ever.

The bill – currently in committee with the state Senate – was sponsored by two Manhattan Democrats – Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried (A.4738) and Senator Bill Perkins (S.4371).

The Villager: ‘We won’t go backward!’ Gays rally vs. travel ban

By Andy Humm, February 9

BY ANDY HUMM | L.G.B.T.Q. people have protested and celebrated outside the Stonewall Inn since the Rebellion in 1969. But on Sat., Feb. 4, in subfreezing temperatures, thousands filled the streets of Stonewall Place to condemn President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority nations — standing up for Islamic people within and outside the community who have been singled out for persecution by the new administration.

“L.G.B.T.Q. people have been fighting oppression for time immemorial,” said openly gay Councilmember Corey Johnson, who represents the Village and Chelsea. “So, when we see an administration come after vulnerable communities,” Johnson said, “we feel it deeply and personally. We are declaring with one voice that we are in this together.”

Politico: Nonprofit coalition wants more money from Albany for human services sector

By Dan Goldberg, 2/3/17

A pair of legislators and several nonprofit CEOs gathered on the west side of Manhattan on Thursday to call for greater funding for social services.

“We are operating at a level that doesn’t allow us to provide the type of services that, frankly, we all expect in a civilized society,” said state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan.The advocates have long argued that government contracts do not meet the cost of providing services such as food for the hungry and care for the elderly. They have also repeatedly said that social services are on the brink of collapse because they are so underfunded.

Village Voice: To Save Lives and Billions of Dollars, New York State Must Pass Universal Health Care

By Steve Wishnia, January 31

As President Trump and the Republican Congress threaten the health care coverage of millions of Americans, New York State could create a universal health care system that would save residents tens of billions of dollars — if the Legislature passes it.

BALCONY Radio interview

I spoke to the Business and Labor Coalition of NY on WOR 710 AM radio, regarding the new administration’s threats to the Affordable Care Act, and the need for a universal, single-payer healthcare system:  https://soundcloud.com/lou-gordon-845856577/balcony-ny-1-29-17 (segment starts at 23 minutes).

Press-Republican: A right to die

By Robin Caudell, 1/25/17

PLATTSBURGH — Amanda Cavanaugh was among the supporters of Monday’s Medical Aid in Dying Act for 2017 (S.3151/A.2383), which was reintroduced to New York lawmakers in Albany.

“The first step in the state of New York is to pass through the Assembly Health Committee,” said Cavanaugh, who is the outreach manager for Compassion & Choices New York.

“Once it’s approved, then it goes to the Codes Committee. Then, it will go to the full assembly for a vote.”