Press Wrap-up: Universal Healthcare Hearings

The Assembly Health Committee held five hearings in December on the New York Health Act, a bill to establish publicly funded universal healthcare in New York.  From Mineola to Buffalo, New Yorkers offered their views on the current health insurance system and the proposed legislation.

The hearings received great press coverage across the state.  Below is a selection of coverage including news and opinion pieces.  The final rally and hearing will be held in Albany on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.  To attend or testify, please contact my office using the reply form here. For photos and more from the completed hearings, please see the single payer tag on the website.

Long Island Hearing on the New York Health Act

Today at  the Nassau County Legislative Chamber in Mineola, the Assembly Committee on Health held its fifth and final public hearing this year on the New York Health Act, a bill that I am introducing along with Senator Bill Perkins that would establish publicly funded universal health care coverage in New York. Assembly Members Michelle Schimel, Edward Ra, and David McDonough joined me on the panel at the hearing.  I joined Long Islanders supporting the bill at a press conference before the hearing to talk about why we support universal health care for all New Yorkers. The final Committee hearing on the legislation will be held in Albany on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

Assembly Members Michelle Schimel, Edward Ra, and David McDonough joined me  at the Assembly Health Committee hearing on Long Island.

Assembly Members Michelle Schimel, Edward Ra, and David McDonough joined me at the Assembly Health Committee hearing on Long Island.

Raymond Ebarb of the Academy of Family Physicians, testifying in favor of the New York Health Act at the Assembly Health Committee hearing on Long Island.

Raymond Ebarb of the Academy of Family Physicians, testifying in favor of the New York Health Act at the Assembly Health Committee hearing on Long Island.

Before the Assembly Health Committee hearing on Long Island on the New York Health Act began,  Long Islanders supporting publicly funded universal health care spoke at a press conference. Here, Mary Dewar of the Long Island Council of Churches expresses her support for the bill.

Before the Assembly Health Committee hearing on Long Island on the New York Health Act began, Long Islanders supporting publicly funded universal health care spoke at a press conference. Here, Mary Dewar of the Long Island Council of Churches expresses her support for the bill.

Assembly Members Michelle Schimel and David McDonough joined me at the Assembly Health Committee's hearing on Long Island on the New York Health Act.

Assembly Members Michelle Schimel and David McDonough joined me at the Assembly Health Committee’s hearing on Long Island on the New York Health Act.

Hearing in Manhattan on the New York Health Act

Today at New York University’s Grand Hall in lower Manhattan, the Assembly Committee on Health held its fourth public hearing on the New York Health Act, a bill that I am introducing along with Senator Bill Perkins that would establish a publicly funded universal health care system in New York. Assembly Members Shelley Mayer and Joe Borelli joined me on the panel at the well-attended hearing, at which more than 80 New Yorkers had signed up to testify. Before it began, I joined other supporters of the bill at a press conference to talk about why we support universal health care for all New Yorkers.

Speaking at the news conference before the Assembly Health Committee hearing in Manhattan on the New York Health Act.

Speaking at the news conference before the Assembly Health Committee hearing in Manhattan on the New York Health Act.

The Assembly Health Committee hearing its first witness at its hearing in Manhattan on the New York Health Act. Next to me on the dais are Assembly Members Joe Borrelli and Shelley Mayer.

The Assembly Health Committee hearing its first witness at its hearing in Manhattan on the New York Health Act. Next to me on the dais are Assembly Members Joe Borelli and Shelley Mayer.

The Assembly Health Committee held its hearing in Manhattan on the New York Health Act before a packed audience. More than 80 New Yorkers signed up to testify on the bill -- more witnesses at any single Health Committee hearing since I began chairing the panel in 1987.

The Assembly Health Committee held its hearing in Manhattan on the New York Health Act before a packed audience. More than 80 New Yorkers signed up to testify on the bill — more witnesses at any single Health Committee hearing since I began chairing the panel in 1987.

Donald Moore, MD, MPH, of Physicians for a National Health Program, told reporters that the current healthcare system "has not worked for me as a patient, a doctor, an employer, or a taxpayer."

Donald Moore, MD, MPH, of Physicians for a National Health Program, told reporters that the current healthcare system “has not worked for me as a patient, a doctor, an employer, or a taxpayer.”

Anne Bové, RN, a nurse at Bellevue Hospital Center and Secretary of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), represented NYSNA  at the press and conference and testified on behalf of the New Health Act at the hearing.

Anne Bové, RN, a nurse at Bellevue Hospital Center and Secretary of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), represented NYSNA at the press and conference and testified on behalf of the New Health Act at the hearing.

Cordell Cleare, the Chief of Staff for NYS Senator Bill Perkins, the Senate sponsor of the New York Health Act, spoke on behalf of the Senator at the news conference and delivered testimony on his behalf at the hearing.

Cordell Cleare, the Chief of Staff for NYS Senator Bill Perkins, the Senate sponsor of the New York Health Act, spoke on behalf of the Senator at the news conference and delivered testimony on his behalf at the hearing.

The Health Committee hears its first witness at the Manhattan hearing on the New York Health Act.

The Health Committee hears its first witness at the Manhattan hearing on the New York Health Act.

Annette Gaudino of Physicians for a National Health Program speaking at the news conference before the Assembly Health Committee's Manhattan hearing on the New York Health Act.

Annette Gaudino of Physicians for a National Health Program speaking at the news conference before the Assembly Health Committee’s Manhattan hearing on the New York Health Act.

A supporter of the New York Health Act speaking at the press conference held before the Assembly Health Committee's Manhattan hearing on the bill.

A supporter of the New York Health Act speaking at the press conference held before the Assembly Health Committee’s Manhattan hearing on the bill.

A supporter of the New York Health Act speaking at the press conference held before the Assembly Health Committee's Manhattan hearing on the bill.

A supporter of the New York Health Act speaking at the press conference held before the Assembly Health Committee’s Manhattan hearing on the bill.

Buffalo Hearing on the New York Health Act

Today at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, the Assembly Committee on Health held its third public hearing on the New York Health Act, a bill that I am introducing along with Senator Bill Perkins that would establish a publicly funded universal health care system in New York. I joined Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes and other supporters of the bill at a press conference before the hearing began to talk about why we support universal health care for all New Yorkers.

Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes at the press conference before the Health Committee hearing on the New York Health Act in Buffalo.

Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes at the press conference before the Health Committee hearing on the New York Health Act in Buffalo.

Jessica Bauer Walker, Executive Director of the Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo, at the press conference before today's hearing on theNew York Health Act.

Jessica Bauer Walker, Executive Director of the Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo, at the press conference before today’s hearing on theNew York Health Act.

Tasha Moore, Program Coordinator at the Matt Urban Hope Center, at the press conference before the hearing in Buffalo on the New York Health Act.

Tasha Moore, Program Coordinator at the Matt Urban Hope Center, at the press conference before the hearing in Buffalo on the New York Health Act.

Supporters of universal healthcare at the press conference before today's hearing in Buffalo on the New York Health Act.

Supporters of universal healthcare at the press conference before today’s hearing in Buffalo on the New York Health Act.

Rochester Hearing on the New York Health Act

Today at the Rochester City Council chambers, the NYS Assembly Committee on Health held the second in a series of statewide hearings on the New York Health Act – legislation I sponsor in the Assembly that would establish a universal, single-payer health care system in New York. Before the hearing began, I joined other supporters of the bill at a press conference to talk about why we support universal health care for all New Yorkers.

The Reverend Richard Gilbert of the Interfaith Impact of New York State At the press conference before the hearing in Rochester on the New York Health Act.

The Reverend Richard Gilbert of the Interfaith Impact of New York State At the press conference before the hearing in Rochester on the New York Health Act.

At the press conference before today's hearing in Rochester on the New York Health Act.

At the press conference before today’s hearing in Rochester on the New York Health Act.

Lieutenant Gary Pudup testifying at the hearing in Rochester on the Affordable Care Act.

Lieutenant Gary Pudup testifying at the hearing in Rochester on the Affordable Care Act.

Colin O'Malley of Metro Justice Rochester at the press conference before the hearing on the New York Health Act.

Colin O’Malley of Metro Justice Rochester at the press conference before the hearing on the New York Health Act.

Speaking with reporters At the press conference before the hearing in Rochester on the New York Health Act.

Speaking with reporters At the press conference before the hearing in Rochester on the New York Health Act.

Hearing in Syracuse on the New York Health Act

Today at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, I convened the first in a series of statewide hearings on the New York Health Act – legislation I sponsor in the Assembly that would establish a universal, single-payer health care system in New York. Before the hearing began, I joined other supporters of the bill at a press conference to talk about why we support universal health care for all New Yorkers.

 

Joining me at the Assembly Health Committee hearing on the New York Health Act were Assembly Members Al Stirpe, Barbara Lifton, and Sam Roberts.

Joining me at the Assembly Health Committee hearing on the New York Health Act were Assembly Members Al Stirpe, Barbara Lifton, and Sam Roberts. (Photo credit: Angel Support Ministries)

Daniel Root, MD, President of the Lewis County Medical Society, testified in support of the New York Health Act at the Assembly Health Committee hearing in Syracuse.

Daniel Root, MD, President of the Lewis County Medical Society, testified in support of the New York Health Act at the Assembly Health Committee hearing in Syracuse.

A resident of Central New York testifying in support of the New York Health Act at the Assembly Health Committee hearing in Syracuse.

A resident of Central New York testifying in support of the New York Health Act at the Assembly Health Committee hearing in Syracuse.

With Assembly colleagues Barbara Lifton, Sam Roberts and Al Stirpe and New Yorkers supporting the New York Health Act at a news conference before the Health Committee hearing.

With Assembly colleagues Barbara Lifton, Sam Roberts and Al Stirpe and New Yorkers supporting the New York Health Act at a news conference before the Health Committee hearing. (Photo credit: Angel Support Ministries)

At the news conference held before the hearing on the New York Health Act.

At the news conference held before the hearing on the New York Health Act. (Photo credit: Angel Support Ministries)

Ellie Donnelly, a retired health care worker, talked about why she support universal health care at the news conference before the hearing.

Ellie Donnelly, a retired health care worker, talked about why she support universal health care at the news conference before the hearing. (Photo credit: Angel Support Ministries)

The news conference and hearing on the New York Health Act in Syracuse attracted considerable media coverage.

The news conference and hearing on the New York Health Act in Syracuse attracted considerable media coverage. (Photo credit: Angel Support Ministries)

City & State – Setting the Agenda: Health

By Ashley Hufpl, November 25

In the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement in April that the federal goverment had approved an $8 billion Medicaid waiver so that New York can apply that money to reform the state’s healthcare system, the main goal of the state Senate during the 2015 legislative session will be to implement major healthcare system changes. Meanwhile, the Assembly will seek to pass publicly funded, single-payer health coverage.

With the waiver, the state will overhaul the current system to fully implement the Medicaid Redesign Team reforms, such as promoting community-level collaborations and lowering avoidable hospital admissions by 25 percent over the next five years.

Chelsea Now: Exhibit Charts Luxury Building Workers’ Struggle to Join Union

By Eileen Stukane, 11/20/14

Courtesy of 32BJ William Rosado, porter at 520 W. 23rd St., poses with his photo. At right is the exhibit’s host, Lowell Kern. Courtesy of 32BJ
William Rosado, porter at 520 W. 23rd St., poses with his photo.
At right is the exhibit’s host, Lowell Kern.

Working for subpar wages and limited benefits in luxury buildings whose units often sell for over $1 million, a group of service workers have spent the past two years engaged in public and behind-the-scenes efforts to join the 32BJ Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Documentation of that ongoing struggle has been preserved in a photo/video exhibit that’s open to the public, and takes place in the home of a West Chelsea resident at odds with his co-op board.

Assembly Single Payer Healthcare Hearings

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
Richard N. Gottfried, Chair
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS

SUBJECT:  “New York Health” bill to create state single payer health coverage

PURPOSE: Receive testimony concerning the “New York Health” bill

SYRACUSE                                     ROCHESTER
Thursday, December 4, 10 AM        Monday, December 8, 10 AM
Medical Alumni Auditorium              City Council Chambers
Weiskotten Hall                               Rochester City Hall
Upstate Medical University              “A” Building, 3rd Floor
766 Irving Avenue                           30 Church Street

BUFFALO                                         NEW YORK CITY
Wednesday, Dec 10, 10 AM      Tuesday, Dec 16, 10 AM
Roswell Park Cancer Inst.          New York University
Hohn Auditorium                        Grand Hall 5th Floor
Research Studies Center        Center for Academic & Spiritual Life
Elm & Carlton Street                  238 Thompson Street

MINEOLA                                                   ALBANY
Wednesday, Dec 17, 10 AM               Tuesday, January 13, 10 AM
Nassau Cty. Legislative Chamber       Hearing Room B
Theodore Roosevelt Executive           Legislative Office Building
and Legislative Building
1550 Franklin Avenue

PLEASE NOTE: LOCATION FOR ROCHESTER IS CHANGED FROM A PREVIOUS ANNOUNCEMENT

NY Times Letter to the Editor: Coping with High Deductibles

Letters to the Editor, re: Unable to Meet the Deductible or the DoctorNY Times, October 29:

We face high deductibles, rising premiums, co-payments, narrow networks and out-of-network charges because insurance companies — focused mainly on their bottom line — control most health coverage. As your article shows, deductibles are a real obstacle to medically necessary care. The notion that they prevent “unnecessary” care is a myth.

It’s not just plans under the Affordable Care Act. Employers are also shifting more costs to employees, or dropping coverage entirely.

The answer is universal “single payer” health coverage, without deductibles, co-payments or limited networks. Health care dollars would pay for health care, not insurance company overhead and profits. Progressive states like New York should lead the way.

RICHARD N. GOTTFRIED
New York, Oct. 18, 2014

The writer is chairman of the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Health and sponsor of a bill to establish a single-payer system in New York State.