Broadway World – Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Takes a Stand on Health Care Reform

June 20, 2017

The Executive Board of SDC, the theatrical union representing Stage Directors and Choreographers across the United States, unanimously voted to endorse the New York State Health Act (S4840) and the New York Health Program (A4738), sister bills designed to establish universal single-payer health care for all New York residents.

SDC’s endorsement of S4840 and A4738 is combined with a rejection of H.R. 1628 (AHCA), the GOP sponsored bill that passed the House of Representatives in May. The AHCA will reverse the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and is estimated to remove health care coverage from over 20 million Americans, discriminate against preexisting conditions, allow states to opt out of coverage like maternity care, and defund Planned Parenthood.

“I commend Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried for sponsoring S4840 and A4738 respectively, and I am proud that SDC, with over 1200 members in New York State, has joined an outpouring of labor and community support for single-payer universal health care in New York,” stated Rachel Chavkin, Chair of SDC’s Political Engagement Committee. “We believe expanding coverage in a more equitable way across New York State will have a deep and positive impact on the lives and wellbeing of our Members, our retirees, their families, and their wider communities, and we hope that success in New York will lead to National reform.”

The NY State Health Act (S4840) and Health Program (A4738) will establish a universal single-payer health plan that provides comprehensive coverage for New Yorkers. This plan would ensure that all New York State residents would be covered by a publically funded universal plan with no patient premiums, deductibles, or co-payments, and no network restrictions.

Leigh Silverman, SDC Vice-President and a member of the SDC Political Engagement Committee, said, “S4840 and A4738 are gaining momentum in large part due to support from statewide Unions. As the Union that protects, unites, and empowers Stage Directors and Choreographers, we feel it is time to put our influence behind this effort. SDC will simultaneously fight to defeat President Trump’s plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which has, while not perfect, made a meaningful difference in the lives of many people, including hundreds of SDC Members around the country.”

“The Single Payer Healthcare (Medicare For All) movement continues to grow, and this is critical, as it is expected that the Trump/Ryan healthcare proposals will eliminate health care for over 20 million Americans. SDC’s decision to join Labor’s support of New York State’s efforts is an important piece to ensure success,” stated Robert Score, Recording-Corresponding Secretary, IASTE, Local One.

SDC is the theatrical union that represents over 4,000 professional stage directors and choreographers throughout the United States. Its mission is to foster a national community of professional stage directors and choreographers by protecting the rights, health, and livelihoods of all its Members.

SDC has jurisdiction over the employment of directors and choreographers working in the following areas: Broadway and National tours, Off-Broadway, ANTC (Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies, New York City), Resident Theatre (League of Resident Theatres – LORT), Resident summer stock companies (Council of Resident Stock Theatres – CORST/TSS), Dinner Theatre (Dinner Theatre Agreement- DTA), Regional Musical Theatre (RMT), and Outdoor musical stock (OMS).