Tag health care

Gothamist: Can NY Make The Leap To Universal, Government-Run Healthcare?

By Caroline Lewis, August 22

Since it was first introduced in 1992, a bill that would provide New Yorkers with universal health care has passed the state Assembly five times, including the last four years in a row, but it has always died in the Republican-controlled State Senate. Now, the New York Health Act—which aims to replace all existing forms of health insurance with one state-run, tax-funded health plan for everyone—is just one sponsor short of a majority in the Senate. With elections coming up for state lawmakers, the Senate could be poised to flip, giving the bill a chance of making it as far as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

Some 59 percent of Americans now support a Medicare for all model under which everyone would qualify for a government health plan, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Cuomo’s Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon, candidates vying for state Senate seats, and some members of the New York City Council—including Speaker Corey Johnson—are framing support for single-payer as both a moral imperative and a progressive badge of honor.

The New York Health Act has reached the level of political viability for people on both sides of the ideological divide to start taking it seriously enough to get into the details of what it would entail.

Press wrap-up: RAND study confirms NY Health expands coverage, net savings

A new report by the RAND Corporation finds that the New York Health Act single-payer bill would cover all New Yorkers while generating a net savings.  More information can be found here; the full report here; and a summary here.

The report has generated widespread press coverage including:

PRESS RELEASE: RAND study confirms NY Health expands coverage, net savings

RAND CORPORATION STUDY CONFIRMS: NEW YORK HEALTH ACT “COULD EXPAND COVERAGE WHILE REDUCING TOTAL HEALTH SPENDING”

Think tank concludes: New York Health would cover all New Yorkers with net health care savings

Bill sponsors Senator Rivera and Assembly Member Gottfried will continue to push for the passage during the next legislative session

            State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, sponsors of the New York Health Act in the New York State Legislature, welcomed the findings of a study of the bill by the highly-regarded, independent, non-profit RAND Corporation. The study confirms that New York Health would reduce total health care costs, while increasing spending on actual care rather than administration and insurance company profit; provide full health coverage to every New Yorker; save substantial money for almost all New Yorkers; and generate a net increase in employment due to increases in disposable income.

The Villager – Gottfried and O’Donnell: Combat Opioids with Pot

By Sydney Pereira,  July 26

Manhattan assemblymembers hope medical marijuana can help curb the state’s opioid crisis. Two recent bills aim to increase access to medical pot to reduce the abuse of the potentially deadly painkillers.

One bill, from Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, has passed both the state Senate and Assembly; it would add substance use disorder to the list of conditions legally treatable by medical marijuana, plus would allow the use of medical pot in place of opioids for pain management. Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell’s legislation would add opioid use disorder as a condition treatable by medical marijuana. O’Donnell’s bill passed the Assembly in early June.

Young Turks: Single-Payer Health Care Advances in New York

WNYT: 11-year-old girl lobbies for medical marijuana (w/ video)

June 19

ALBANY – Her name is Haley Hilt. She’s 11 years old — and she’s been suffering epileptic seizures since she was an infant.

“Haley is one of the medical marijuana success stories,” says Haley’s mother, Melissa.

When medical marijuana was legalized in New York four years ago, Melissa says her daughter’s seizures were reduced by 75 percent.

“Haley no longer has to suffer through three hours of car drives in order to get the medication she needs that has improved her quality of life significantly,” Melissa says.

Associated Press: NY Assembly OKs universal health care; bill halted in Senate

June 17

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York state Assembly has again endorsed a single-payer universal health care system.

The Democrat-led chamber passed the measure last week for the fourth year in a row.

Passage of the legislation is largely symbolic, however. The Republican-led Senate is not expected to take up the measure before lawmakers adjourn for the year next year.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says Democrats in his chamber believe all Americans deserve a health care system that guarantees coverage for all.

The proposal would allow all New Yorkers to enroll for health coverage that comes with no network restrictions, deductibles or co-pays. The system would use state and local funds that now go to Medicaid and other health care programs.

New Rochelle Patch: NY Assembly Passes Single-Payer Healthcare

By Michael Woyton, June 16

Albany has taken the first step toward giving New Yorkers a single-payer healthcare system. On Thursday, the state Assembly passed bill A4738, The New York Health Act would establish a program that would create a system of access to health insurance for New York residents.

The bill, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-75th Assembly District, is now going to be considered by the Senate. The Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Gustavo Rivera, D-33rd Senate District, is currently being considered by the Senate Health Committee.

If it comes to the floor of the Senate, it’s a toss up whether it could pass because, even though the Democrats have a one-seat majority in the 63-seat body, one Democrat — Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder — caucuses with the Republicans.

Under the bill, according to a press release from Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Gottfried, every New York resident would be eligible to enroll, regardless of age, income, wealth or employment, in the healthcare plan.

Video – Spectrum News: Will single-payer healthcare ever come to New York?

June 14 – Video here.

SPECTRUM NEWS VIDEO: The state assembly has again passed the bill to create a single-payer health care system in New York. And again, the Senate has no plans to vote on it. But in the time since Assemblyman Dick Gottfried first began sponsoring the measure, both the health insurance system and national opinion have changed a lot. He discusses where the issue stands now.

Queens Chronicle: A look at the fight for single-payer in New York

By Ryan Brady, June 14

With the Trump administration having taken steps to weaken Obamacare, New York activists have stepped up demands for the state to have a single-payer healthcare system.

In three of the past four years, New York’s lower chamber has passed a bill introduced by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) that would establish the system in the state. Twenty-seven of Albany’s 63 state senators — all of them Democrats — are also carrying the bill in their chamber.

The bill’s never been passed in the state Senate, which for all but a short time has been controlled by the GOP for decades. Its numbers are now split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, owing to one from the former camp going on naval duty.

Implementing Gottfried’s plan, the New York Health Act, would require waivers from the federal government.

Gov. Cuomo said last year that he would sign the bill if “it was not incongruous to what the federal government would do to us. I think it’s a very exciting possibility. But I think it’s going to be a federal play and we are, our funding system basically relies on Medicaid from the feds. And if they turn off that valve or slow that valve, there is no way we’re going to be able to make that up in this state no matter what.”