Times-Union: Senate Dems, Gottfried push single-payer system as GOP’s health plan moves forward

By Matthew Hamilton, March 8

As uncertainty over the future of the federal healthcare system persists, state Senate Democrats are proposing the creation of a single-payer public health system as part of a package of bills to help the state prep for potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The legislation, touted by the Minority Democrats on Wednesday, would set up the frame work for a single-payer system, tasking state health officials with the actual implementation and devising the exact funding mechanism.

State of Politics – Gottfried: Pending ACA Repeal Bolster Case For Single-Payer

By Nick Reisman, 3/1/17

Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried in an interview Tuesday said the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act strengthens his long-sought effort to create a single-payer system in New York.

“What I think New York ought to be doing and the only thing a progressive state can do is enact a state-based improved Medicare for all or single-payer system,” Gottfried said. “The enormous savings we’d get by eliminating the administrative costs in the current system is the only way we can free up enough money to fill up the holes the federal government is going to be blasting in health care.”

New York officials are pondering what to do in the event of a repeal of the law by the Republican-controlled Congress. Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Tuesday said the state can’t really plan for an unraveling of the measure or what could potentially replace it.

The state did participate in the expansion of the Medicaid program and could see its safety net shrink if block grants are created for the program.

“What really scares me is what the federal government is going to cut the Medicaid program and damage Medicare,” Gottfried said.

Still, the more popular, consumer-focused aspects of the ACA are already enshrined in state law, Gottfried said.

“Fortunately, a lot of the insurance provisions, consumer safeguards and the like in the Affordable Care, are embedded in our law,” he said. “Many of them are embedded in our law for 20 years or more.”

CNHI: Home health aide shortage leaves some without care

By Joe Mahoney, 3/3/17

ALBANY — Across upstate New York, agencies that provide health care services to home-bound patients say they are struggling to recruit and retain health aides, a shortage that is expected to become more acute as the population ages.

Home health aides are the lowest-paid workers in New York’s health care system, with many earning less than $13 an hour for work that often involves late-night and weekend shifts helping the home-bound with bathing, meal preparation and other personal needs.

Chelsea Now: Rent Tax Reform Would Exempt Affordable Supermarkets

By Jackson Chen, 3/1/17

Faced with a rent increase from $32,000 a month to more than $100,000, Associated Supermarket closed its doors after 27 years on W. 14 St. and Eighth Ave. This March 2016 rally drew dozens of loyal customers as well as Councilmember Corey Johnson (in tie), with State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (at right) and Public Advocate Letitia James (at left). Chelsea Now file photo by Yannic Rack.

Faced with a rent increase from $32,000 a month to more than $100,000, Associated Supermarket closed its doors after 27 years on W. 14 St. and Eighth Ave. This March 2016 rally drew dozens of loyal customers as well as Councilmember Corey Johnson (in tie), with State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (at right) and Public Advocate Letitia James (at left). Chelsea Now file photo by Yannic Rack.

BY JACKSON CHEN | City Councilmembers across Manhattan are calling for reform of a decades-old commercial rent tax they say is burdening many local businesses into extinction.

The commercial rent tax (CRT) was created in 1963 as a revenue generator that charges businesses paying more than $250,000 in annual rent a 3.9 percent levy. In the ’90s, the CRT was restricted to Manhattan businesses below 96th St., followed by another amendment that exempted part of Lower Manhattan after 9/11.

Jewish Voice: New Yorkers Push for Universal Healthcare, as ACA Debate Persists

By Judith Pottsfield, 3/1/17

Representative Yvette Clarke, a Democratic Congressman from Brooklyn recently hosted a town hall meeting at which she staunchly defended the soon to be outgoing Affordable Care Act, known as Obama care. The Act has been a topic of choice at a number of Town Hall meetings in recent weeks.

The repeal of Obama Care sparked a wave of protests on Medical school campuses across the country at the beginning of the year, as students took to the streets, staged “death-ins” and called on their government representatives to halt the repeal of the ACA. Future medical practitioners are worried that removing Obama Care could leave many at risk patients without adequate health insurance.

Times-Union: Lawmakers hear of crisis in home care

By Casey Seiler, 2/27/17

The system that provides home care for New York’s ailing, elderly and disabled populations is in crisis due primarily to economic pressures, including a state reimbursement formula that has pushed some rural care providers to the brink of not being able to make payroll.

That was the message conveyed by dozens of witnesses who attended a Capitol hearing Monday called by the Assembly committees on health, aging, labor and health. The Legislature returns to Albany on Tuesday to begin the final month of negotiation of the budget.

Crain’s: Albany considers bill to pay live organ-donors’ costs

By Robin Schatz, 2/23/17

A new bill could make New York the first state in the country to directly compensate living organ donors—who typically donate a kidney or a portion of their liver to a transplant patient—for lost wages, child care and other expenses.

The Living Donor Support Act, introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan and Republican Sen. Kemp Hannon of Long Island, chair of the Senate Health Committee, has broad support from lawmakers. It already unanimously passed Hannon’s committee, and it has 18 Senate co-sponsors and 27 Assembly co-sponsors.

Legislative Gazette: Bill sponsor says religious support is ‘next step’ for passing aid-in-dying bill

By Katherine Carroll, 2/21/17

Aid in Dying legislation received momentous support from religious leaders of various denominations Monday, urging passage of the proposal, which 67 percent of Americans support, according to a survey by Life Way research.

The bill, (A.2383/S.3151) proposed in January by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, and Senator Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, would allow for a mentally competent, terminally ill patient with a six month prognosis or less to request a lethal dose of barbiturates from their doctor. The medication would allow them to choose the time and place of their passing, before their pain becomes too unbearable or they become a burden on their families.

Savino is confident that religious support is the “next step” in passing the legislation. “Aid in dying is not something everyone would choose, but it’s a choice everyone should have, no matter how or where you worship,” she said. “I’m a Catholic, and my faith is important to me, but allowing patients, their families, and doctors to discuss a safe and compassionate way to end their suffering is important to me and millions of New Yorkers.”

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

###