Tag health care

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.”

Chelsea Now – Do or Die: A Day in Albany Advocating for Statewide Healthcare

By Donathan Salkaln, June 13

UPDATE: On Thurs., June 14th, in Albany, NY, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced the passage of a universal single-payer health plan that would provide comprehensive health coverage for all New Yorkers.

How bad has our health care system become? A 25-year-old man is sideswiped by a truck on a busy Downtown street. The ambulance brings him to an East Side emergency room. “Broken leg, shattered bone sticking out of skin,” recalled Dr. Danny Lugassy. “He’s pulling out IVs, and pushing away nurses. I ask him, ‘What are you doing?’ He begs me, ‘Please do the bare minimum possible. I just started a job, but my health care won’t start until next month!’ ”

On June 5, two buses loaded with advocates of single-payer healthcare, mostly from Chelsea, Hells Kitchen, and Greenwich Village, left W. 33rd St. near Penn Station and headed to the state capitol to rally and lobby with others for single-payer healthcare. The event was organized by the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) in tandem with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), 1199 SEIU, and over 100 labor and community organizations in the Campaign for New York Health. The day included pre-arranged individual office meetings with state senators, to voice healthcare concerns.

“Nearly every day, patients tell me they can’t afford the care that I
want to give them,” said Dr. Danny Lugassy, board member, Physicians for a National Health Program — NY Metro Chapter. | Photo by Donathan Salkaln

Chronogram: Can New York Pull Off Single-Payer Healthcare?

By Wendy Kagan, June 1

About 10 years ago, when she was 44, Eve Madalengoitia had a hunch that something was wrong. She was experiencing concerning symptoms of the lady sort, and her doctor said it’s probably nothing, but let’s get you an MRI to be sure. At the time, she was working as a consultant from her home base in Poughkeepsie, writing grants and fundraising for nonprofits; her husband was a self-employed artist. They didn’t have health insurance. The expense of an MRI (ballpark $2,600) was so daunting that Madalengoitia convinced herself that her symptoms were nothing to worry about. She was young and healthy, wasn’t she?

A few months later she got insurance through a new job, so she went ahead and scheduled the exploratory test. Soon after, she received some news that no one expected. “I had aggressive, high-grade uterine cancer, which was not common in women my age,” she says. “I needed immediate surgery, chemo, and radiation.” Thankfully, her insurance paid for it, and now she is NED (no evidence of disease). But she is keenly aware of the what-ifs. “Without health insurance, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the test and the cancer would have spread,” Madalengoitia says. “I wouldn’t be here to tell my story.”

Gay City News: De Blasio Moves on Safer Consumption Spaces to Curb Overdoses

By Nathan Riley, May 4

BY NATHAN RILEY | A multi-year push in New York City to offer drug users a safe place for consuming their drugs seems destined for success after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his support for “overdose prevention centers.”

Public health advocates voiced enthusiasm as the news spread on May 3 that the administration had reached out to Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner, for a go-ahead to open four Safer Consumption Spaces in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

The Alt: Cannibalizing cannabis: Threats to New York’s medicinal aid

By Katie Cusack, 4/18/18

In 2009, Frances Keeffe–Granny Franny, as her grandchildren called her–of Scarsdale, New York was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). By the end of her life, her granddaughter Hillary Peckham said, Franny was on more than 20 medications. Each one came with an onslaught of side effects.

“She had to be quarantined for the last few months of her life because of that,” Peckham said. “You’re not gonna cure ALS. It’s, ‘How can we can deal with these symptoms?’”

A doctor approached the family, asking, “Why don’t you try marijuana?”

“At that point it still wasn’t legal, my grandmother wasn’t interested and we had no idea where we could find something, so it wasn’t an option for her but it really sparked my mom looking into this industry to see if it might be a solution,” Peckham said. “We started learning about the quality of life improvement it was giving people without all the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.” By the time she graduated college, Peckham and her mother set off building Etain, New York’s only women-owned medical marijuana company.