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.”

City & State: Health care: Rigged against working people

By Richard N. Gottfried, 1/15/17

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried

There’s almost nothing more rigged against working people – or hits them harder in the wallet – than health care. And it’s a life-or-death issue. To make government more responsive to the needs of working- and middle-class people, and treat them with respect and fairness, health care is the place for New York to start.

While we try to stop Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress from degrading Medicaid and Medicare and wrecking the Affordable Care Act, we can work in New York to build a system that serves all of us.

Health care represents almost one-fifth of the economy, and an even a larger part of working people’s income. People are at the mercy of health insurance companies. Rising premiums, deductibles and co-pays; restricted provider networks; and out-of-network charges are real obstacles to health care and family financial stability. Each year, one in three families with private health insurance has someone put off care due to cost, usually for a serious medical condition.

Village Voice: It’s Time for New York State to Pass Universal Healthcare

By Max Rivlen-Nadler, 1/18/17

With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act going full steam ahead with no replacement on the horizon, it’s now a distinct possibility that 2.7 million New Yorkers (over half of whom reside in New York City) could find themselves without health care in the near future. In response to this looming threat, governor Andrew Cuomo has warned about the dire consequences of a full repeal, but has not stated what his plan would be when it actually proceeds. Desperate times usually call for desperate measures, but what if the answer to New York’s possible healthcare apocalypse wasn’t something that had to be conjured out of thin air, but rather something that had already passed the state assembly three times? Wouldn’t that be something worth considering?

Syracuse Post-Standard: Abortion rate hits record low as clash looms between Trump, abortion-rights advocates

By Jim Mulder, 1/19/17

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. abortion rate has hit a historic low as a clash looms between President-elect Donald Trump, who has vowed to outlaw abortion, and abortion rights advocates, many of whom will join the Women’s March on Washington Saturday.

For the first time since 1975, the number of abortions in the U.S. dropped below 1 million in 2013 and 2014, according to a report put out this week by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive research group in New York City.

The report shows there were 926,200 abortions in 2014, or 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women, down 14 percent since 2011.

North Country Now: North Country assemblywoman supportive of more than 300 healthcare demonstrators who marched in Canton on Sunday

January 16, 2017

CANTON — Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, says the turnout in Canton this weekend for a march to protest the Affordable Care Act is “a demonstration of support for a health care system that provides access to quality health care for all Americans.”

“The Affordable Care Act has provided millions of additional Americans with health care coverage and has also meant that more patients being treated at our financially-strapped rural hospitals have insurance coverage aiding those institutions’ bottom lines,” a news release from her office says.

She said health care costs were “skyrocketing” before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.

Press release – Assembly Passes Reproductive Health Act

Protecting Reproductive Health Care:
Assembly Passes Reproductive Health Act

Statement by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried

     Today, the Assembly Health Committee reported and the Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), A.1748, introduced by Assembly Member Deborah Glick.  The RHA eliminates outdated language in New York State law; guarantees a woman’s right to choose; and ensures constitutionally protected access to safe, legal abortion.  It also takes New York’s abortion law out of the Penal Law and puts it in the Public Health Law where it belongs.  Reproductive freedom is fundamental and must be secured.

The U.S. Supreme Court will very likely soon have a majority of judges who oppose protecting reproductive choice.  This, and Republican control of Congress and the White House, makes it more important than ever for New York to pass the Reproductive Health Act.

As chair of the Assembly Health Committee, a founding member of the New York State Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus, and someone who has been active with NARAL since 1969, protecting and strengthening reproductive rights and access to care are among my highest priorities.  New York’s own landmark law on abortion – enacted three years before Roe v. Wade decision – provides most, but not all, the protections of Roe.

The RHA adds a provision to the Public Health Law saying that any appropriately licensed health care practitioner such as a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or professional midwife may perform an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, or if there is an absence of fetal viability, or if the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.  In contrast, the current abortion provision in the state Penal Law says only a physician may perform an abortion and only allows an abortion after 24 weeks when necessary to protect the life of the woman.  The RHA would strengthen New York’s law to fully cover all the provisions of the Roe v. Wade decision, and all applicable laws and regulations governing health care in New York will also apply.

While we in New York have been working to protect women’s health, state legislatures and governors across the country have been working to pass unconstitutional anti-choice bills.  New York is a pro-choice state – with a history of pro-choice governors, legislators and other elected officials – because we have so many active pro-choice advocates.  As Washington threatens reproductive health care rights and access, it is more critical than ever that we organize and fight to protect every woman’s reproductive rights.


Times-Union: N.Y. reps urge keeping women’s health mandates under Obamacare

By Claire Hughes, 1/11/17

A state legislative proposal requiring health insurers in New York to cover contraception without co-payments, now mandated by Obamacare, has been reintroduced by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as Republicans in Congress seek to undo the federal law.

Also Wednesday, in Washington U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, urged federal lawmakers to keep the no-cost contraceptive provisions of the law, formally the Affordable Care Act, along with access to mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. Gillibrand has filed an amendment to the federal 2017 budget that would retain these parts of the law.