Tag insurance

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.”

PRESS RELEASE – 6/1 Assembly Passes NY Health Universal Healthcare Bill

Assembly Passes “NY Health” Universal Health Care Bill

The New York State Assembly passed the “New York Health Act” universal health care bill (A. 5062A/S. 3525A) by an overwhelming majority on Wednesday, June 1, for the second year in a row.  New York Health would provide universal, complete health care coverage to every New Yorker without deductibles, co-pays, or limited provider networks.

“Health insurance plans have now asked the State for a 17% rate increase, with some plans as high as 45%,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried, lead Assembly sponsor of the bill.  “Year after year, the cost of coverage for families and employers goes up faster than wages and inflation.  Premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out-of-network charges, and uncontrolled drug costs undermine health care and family finances, and are a heavier burden on employers and taxpayers.”

Legislative Gazette: For second year in a row, Assembly passes universal health care bill

By Simon Rosenbluth, 6/2

The Assembly voted 86-53 Wednesday to pass universal health care legislation in New York, marking the second time in two years the bill passed the Democrat-controlled house.

The issue of health care has received increased attention since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. But some state lawmakers, physicians, nurses and patients say the federal program doesn’t go far enough and legal challenges are still threatening its full implementation.

The New York Health bill (A.5062-a) passed by the Assembly Wednesday would provide universal, complete health care coverage to every New Yorker without deductibles, co-pays, or limited provider networks.

“Health insurance plans have now asked the state for a 17 percent rate increase, with some plans as high as 45 percent,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, lead Assembly sponsor of the bill. “Year after year, the cost of coverage for families and employers goes up faster than wages and inflation. Premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out-of-network charges, and uncontrolled drug costs undermine health care and family finances, and are a heavier burden on employers and taxpayers.”

Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter (Audio)

January 13, 2016

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hosts his 2016 State of the State Address, which will also include the annual budget presentation.

Christine Quinn, the President and CEO of Women in Need, will weigh in on the Governor’s plan to address issues of homelessness in the state.

We will hear which healthcare issues are at the top of the Assembly’s list this session from Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D – Manhattan).

Mark Dunlea, Chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund, previews the State of the Climate, a rally at the Capitol for clean energy and a sustainable future.

Bruce Gyory of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips looks at key issues the Governor is likely to propose.

Elmira Star-Gazette: Let doctors negotiate with big health insurers

By Dr. Michael Herceg, 10/22

The recently proposed consolidation of health insurance giants Anthem and Cigna, and Aetna and Humana, is cause of great concern to the medical profession in New York. It should be of greater concern to patients.

The move comes amid a time when medical practices are already struggling with greatly increased practice costs and administrative hassles. More and more physicians are finding they have no choice but to become absorbed into large health care systems to deliver quality patient care.

Times-Union: Cuomo urged to sign bill giving doctors final say in Medicaid Rx disputes

By Claire Hughes, August 4

Supporters of a bill that would ensure doctors have the final say in prescription disputes with Medicaid managed care plans are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the measure into law.

The measure, one of about 700 bills passed by the state lawmakers this year and under review by counsel, has not reached the governor’s desk, according to Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

Given the administration’s past stance on language in the bill, however, supporters are concerned over the chance of a veto.

“The Health Department opposed this language when it was raised during budget discussions,” said Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, a bill sponsor.

Times-Union: Patients, medical groups call on Albany to limit ‘fail first’ insurance policies

By Claire Hughes, May 29

Patient advocates and medical groups on Thursday were at the state Legislative Office Building to support a bill that would curb so-called “step therapy” or “fail first” policies among health insurers.

Groups representing patients with cancer, mental illness and chronic pain appeared with lawmakers to call for a clear and concise appeals process, and limits to health insurers’ right to require that less expensive treatments be used before more expensive ones are approved.

Health insurers oppose the bill. Step therapy encourages the use of effective medication, while keeping a check on the rising cost of prescription drugs, said Paul Macielak, CEO of the New York Health Plan Association, a trade association.

“Without efforts to control rising drug costs, consumers and employers would not be able to afford prescription drug coverage,” Macielak said.

The problem with the current appeals process, said bill sponsor Assemblyman Matthew Titone, is that the insurance companies control the process. Some delay approving the proper treatment indefinitely. The bill would not eliminate step therapy, but require insurers to make their appeals process transparent and easy to follow, and limit the length of time it takes to complete, he said.

Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, who supports the legislation, acknowledged that step therapy can be appropriate and effective under many circumstances. These include times when doctors are not sure which remedy might work best for a particular patient and the most prudent action is to try something inexpensive first.

Capital NY – Health chairs predict problems with coming ‘Cadillac’ tax

By Katie Jennings, 5/18/15

State legislators from both sides of the aisle are concerned that a soon-to-take-effect Affordable Care Act tax will have a “devastating effect” on health plan coverage for both public and private employees.

The so-called “Cadillac tax” provision of the Affordable Care Act isn’t set to kick in until 2018, but Assembly health committee chair Richard Gottfried and Senate health committee chair Kemp Hannon both raised concerns over its impact during a event on Friday organized by the fiscally conservative Manhattan Institute.

The controversial Cadillac tax, or excise tax on high-premium insurance plans, imposes a 40 percent tax on health premiums above a threshold of $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,500 for families. It is expected to bring in $87 billion in federal revenue by 2025, according to the most recent Congressional Budget Office analysis.

Gottfried, a Democrat from Manhattan, said “the approach of the Cadillac tax ought to be regarded by almost everybody as an oncoming train or worse.”