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Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Caucus Endorses Single Payer

On Wednesday, May 7, the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus held a press conference announcing its new support for the “New York Health” single payer health care bill.  The 46-member Caucus includes State Senator Bill Perkins, sponsor of the bill in the Senate.  The Caucus joins the Working Families Party and key labor unions that have endorsed the bill since January.

Check out this link with video from the Albany Times Union; more on single payer from the Legislative Gazette; and photos from a May 6 rally at the Capitol.  Below please find the Caucus’ press release including quotes and a full list of supporting organizations:

Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Endorses New York State Single-Payer Health Plan

Caucus Joins Growing Coalition Backing Comprehensive Coverage for All New Yorkers

ALBANY – Today, the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus formally endorsed “New York Health” (A.5389/S.2078A), which creates a universal, single payer health care plan. All New Yorkers regardless of income would be eligible to enroll in the publicly funded plan. There would be no premiums, deductibles, or co-pays.

Assemblyman and Chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus Karim Camara said this plan would address both health care and income inequality, “The passing of Obamacare was a step in the right direction. Here in New York, we have a chance to improve health care in an even greater way. This is a priority of the Caucus because, right now, health care costs disproportionately impact low and middle income people. As Chair of the Caucus, I am proud that we are backing such a bold plan that would dramatically improve the lives of all New Yorkers. I look forward to working with both houses of the legislature to make sure this important bill is passed. “

“The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus endorsement is a great step forward for the New York Health bill,” said the Assembly sponsor, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried.  “The Caucus joins health care organizations, unions, and community groups who understand that health care is a right, not a privilege.  Health care should be about patients and their doctors making medical decisions, not insurance company bottom lines.  I look forward to working with the Caucus to advance the NY Health bill.”

The Senate sponsor, Senator Bill Perkins, stressed the importance of the bill, “Today, the diverse coalition supporting our “New York Health” Bill expands to formally include the New York State Black Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus.  Our singular message is clear:  a universal, single payer health plan is a collective right and an essential public good; it will forever shift the healthcare dynamic from talk of private profit and actuarial tables to preventative medicine and continuity of care at all levels.  This vital legislation will vastly improve our healthcare system, save the state substantial amounts of money and finally recognize the hallmark maxim that—patients must always come before profits because our health is our greatest wealth.”

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson said the bill would build on the new federal legislation, “While New York is moving forward in the right direction with its health plan marketplace, the “New York Health” bill would provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker.  If signed into law, this legislation would build upon and improve the federal government’s Affordable Care Act by using publicly-sponsored coverage instead of private insurance coverage.”

The endorsement, which comes a day after a Universal Health Care rally in Albany attended by several unions, elected officials and health care professionals and patients, sends a strong message to both houses of the Legislature that this is a priority for members of the Caucus.  Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie emphasized the necessity of the bill, “In today’s difficult economy affordable healthcare is a necessity not a luxury. We must make sure that quality healthcare is accessible to the hard working men and women of New York State.”

The Caucus joins recent endorsers of the legislation including SEIU 32BJ, AFSCME DC 1707, the Capital District Area Labor Federation and many physician, public health and community organizations. Please see the full list below.

Endorsers of the New York Health Bill


  • 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
  • 32BJ SEIU
  • Albany County Central Federation of Labor
  • Capital District Area Labor Federation
  • Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU
  • Communications Workers of America District 1
  • Communications Workers of America Local 1104 and local 1180
  • District Council 1707, AFSCME
  • Doctors Council/SEIU
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees-Local 1
  • Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board, Workers United/SEIU
  • Long Island Federation of Labor
  • New York City Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
  • New York State AFL-CIO
  • New York State Nurses Association
  • New York State United Teachers
  • Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
  • Troy Area Labor Council
  • UAW Regions 9 and 9A
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500
  • United University Professions
  • Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2
  • Western New York Area Labor Federation

Political Parties

  • Green Party New York
  • Green Party of Onondaga, New York
  • Working Families Party

Physicians’ Groups

  • American Academy of Pediatrics-District II
  • Doctors for America-New York
  • National Physicians Alliance-New York
  • New York State Academy of Family Physicians
  • Physicians for a National Health Program – Buffalo Chapter
  • Physicians for a National Health Program – Capital District Chapter
  • Physicians for a National Health Program – Finger Lakes Chapter
  • Physicians for a National Health Program – NY Metro Chapter

Community Organizations

  • African Services Committee
  • ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York
  • Capital District Alliance for Universal Healthcare
  • Citizen Action of New York
  • CoDA (Coalition for a District Alternative, NYC)
  • Downtown Manhattan HCV Support Group
  • Finger Lakes for New York Health
  • HCV & HBV Support Group at O’Connor Hospital
  • Healthcare-NOW! NYC
  • Hudson Valley Progressives
  • Hunger Action Network of New York State
  • League of Women Voters of New York State
  • Make the Road NY
  • Metro Justice of Rochester
  • Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign
  • Mid-Hudson Advocates for Single Payer Universal Health Care
  • New York Communities for Change
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
  • Partnership for the Public Good
  • Rekindling Reform
  • Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
  • Single Payer New York
  • Upstate Hepatitis Awareness Project
  • Westchester for Change

Public Health Groups

  • Commission on the Public’s Health System
  • Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo
  • Institute for Family Health
  • Public Health Association of NYC
  • Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health

Faith Organizations

  • Interfaith Health Care Coalition of Rochester
  • Interfaith Impact of New York State
  • Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State

Seniors’ Groups

  • Statewide Senior Action Council
  • Granny Peace Brigade
  • Gray Panthers NYC Network

Legislative Groups

  • Black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican & Asian Legislative Caucus
  • Sullivan County Legislature