Tag health care

Capital Pressroom Interview (audio)

On May 16 I joined Susan Arbetter of Capital Pressroom for a conversation about single-payer healthcare and Republican attacks on the Affordable Care Act.  You can find the interview here.

ThinkProgress – New York lawmakers are voting to create a state-level single-payer system

By Laurel Raymond, May 16.

The New York State Assembly is set to vote on a bill today that, if signed into law and implemented, would enact a single-payer health program in the state.

The New York Health Plan, as the proposal is called, is expected to pass the Assembly with wide margins, as it did in 2015 and 2016. Each of those years, however, the bill wasn’t picked up in the state senate. This year, however, it’s obtained widespread backing and is closer to passing than it’s ever been before — the current count has it just one vote away.

“A single-payer system would create the peace of mind that residents could have access to quality medical care including outpatient and inpatient medical care, primary and preventive care, prescription drugs and laboratory tests,” State Sen. Jeffrey Klein, the head of an independent caucus whose support is critical to bringing the bill withing striking distance of passing, told the Huffington Post.

Buzzflash.com – Will New York Beat California in the Race to Enact a Single-Payer Health Care System?

By Mark Karlin, 5/18

A single-payer health care bill passed the New York State Assembly for the fourth time on Tuesday, and is headed for the State Senate. The Senate has turned down the bill before, but according to The Village Voice, its prospects are growing more favorable this year:

Currently, the bill is only two votes shy of passing in the 63-seat state senate. It recently picked up the support of the influential Independent Democratic Conference, buoying its number of supporters to 30.

CommonDreams – Single Payer Success in NY as Medicare-for-All Bill Passes State Assembly

By Dierdre Fulton, May 16

As the momentum behind Medicare-for-All continues to grow nationwide, New York’s State Assembly on Tuesday was expected to pass a single-payer healthcare bill that puts the state light years ahead of the regressive GOP in Washington, D.C.

The New York Health Act would afford all state residents access to comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care, primary and preventative care, prescription drugs, behavioral health services, laboratory testing, and rehabilitative care, as well as dental, vision, and hearing coverage. There would be no premiums, deductibles, or co-pays; the plan would be funded through progressively raised taxes, including a surcharge that would be split 80/20 between employers and employees.

CNHI – Medical pot group sues state over expansion

By Joe Mahoney, 5/5

ALBANY — With more than 18,000 New Yorkers now certified to be treated with medical marijuana, the state is seeking to double the number of producers of the drug.

But the New York Medical Cannabis Association, a trade group representing the state’s five companies that run production facilities and the 20 dispensaries spread across the state, is waging a court battle to thwart the effort. It argues the Cuomo administration’s plan to bring on new producers will jeopardize their financial viability.

Amy Peckham, the chief operating officer of Etain, a company that produces medical cannabis at a Chestertown facility and operates four dispensaries, said in an affidavit filed with the lawsuit that the state Department of Health’s decision to increase the number of licensed suppliers from five to 10 was “shocking.”

Gothamist: Universal Healthcare Looks Increasingly Possible In New York State

By David Colon, May 26052617hcare.jpg (Scott Lynch / Flickr)

As the debate rages in Washington, DC about whether to trade Trumpcare for Obamacare, a group of lawmakers in New York State see an opportunity for a progressive win here at home. Emboldened by an energized local left wing and operating in a political climate where millions of New Yorkers could wind up losing their health insurance under the American Health Care Act, advocates for single payer health insurance think this might be the ideal time for New York to establish the country’s first universal health program. But even as legislation to do so advances, a number of challenges can keep it from coming to pass.

“So many problems we face in health and health care are made worse and harder to solve because our health care system is so tied to health insurance companies,” Assembly Member Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, who’s been working on passing single payer in New York since 1992, told Gothamist.

PRESS RELEASE – Assembly to Pass New York Health Act Today

Assembly to Pass New York Health Act Today

Single Payer System Guarantees Health Coverage
for all New Yorkers

(Albany, NY, May 16, 2017) Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried announced the Assembly’s intent to pass the New York Health Act today. The universal “improved Medicare for all” single-payer health plan would cover every New York resident, regardless of wealth, income, age or health status (A.4738, Gottfried/S.4840. Rivera).

“While lawmakers in Washington debate giving tax cuts to the wealthy and cutting funding for health care for those who need it most, the Assembly Majority remains committed to ensuring every New Yorker has access to the care they need and deserve,” said Speaker Heastie. “The Assembly will once again pass this measure, but the recent action taken by Congress to strip more than one million New Yorkers of healthcare has proven it is time for our colleagues in the Senate to act as well.”

Associated Press: Assembly approves use of marijuana as PTSD treatment

5/3/17

ALBANY  — New York state lawmakers are gaining momentum in a measure to expand medical marijuana coverage to those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Currently, medical marijuana in New York can only be used to treat serious illnesses such as cancer and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The New York Daily News reports the Democrat-controlled Assembly approved a measure that adds PTSD to the list of state-approved ailments that doctors can prescribe medical marijuana as treatment. The bill will now move to the Republican-controlled Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, says there’s evidence that medical marijuana is effective in treating PTSD.

New York launched its medicinal marijuana program last year.

Capitol Tonight (Video) – Expanding Medical Marijuana for PTSD

(Video here:  http://www.twcnews.com/nys/capital-region/capital-tonight-interviews/2017/05/2/gottfried-raia-krawitz-050217.html )

A bill expand the state’s medical marijuana program to include post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is moving at the capitol, and advocates are feeling optimistic about its chances of passage this year. They argue that other states have demonstrated pot can be used to relieve anxiety and depression, without the side-effects of other prescription medications typically used to treat those problems. And they say it’s especially important to give more options to veterans. Joining us  to talk more about this is Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who chairs the health committee, health committee ranking minority member Assemblyman Andrew Raia, and Mike Krawitz of Veterans for Medical Cannabis.

Huffington Post: New York State Will Cover Breast Milk Donations For Preemies From Low-Income Families

By Caroline Bologna, 4/24/17

New York recently became the latest state to cover breast milk donations for babies from low-income families.

On April 9, the New York State Legislature approved the 2017-18 state budget, which includes a provision granting Medicaid coverage for donor breast milk to premature babies in the NICU. The measure received bipartisan support.

“We are putting our babies first and our legislators understand that,” executive director of the New York Milk Bank, Julie Bouchet-Horwitz, told The Huffington Post. Bouchet-Horwitz noted that “all babies, regardless of the economic status of their parents,” deserve access to pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) when their own mothers’ milk is not available or sufficient.