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Times-Union: At packed hearing, NY lawmakers weigh single-payer health care

At a lengthy, packed hearing on the bill held Tuesday in Albany, lawmakers heard from hospitals, health care leaders, municipal officials, patients, advocates, union leaders and others who all agreed that its goal of providing comprehensive, universal coverage to New Yorkers is laudable. But whether single-payer is the system to achieve that was the topic of spirited debate.

WAMC Radio: NY Legislature Holds Single-Payer Health Care Hearing

The New York State legislature held a daylong hearing Tuesday on a proposal to enact single-payer health care in New York. Supporters and opponents debated whether it’s the answer to the state’s health care
gaps.

Chair Richard Gottfried, a Democrat and prime sponsor of the legislation, known as the New York Health Act, laid out the problem. Millions of New orkers have some form of health coverage, he said. But many still face financial obstacles from private insurance companies in getting the care they need, because of unaffordable co-pays or coverage denials.

CBS Radio: NY Lawmakers In Last-Minute Push To Strengthen Sexual Harassment Laws

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – With less than two weeks left in the legislative session in Albany, there’s a last-minute push from lawmakers hoping to toughen the state’s sexual harassment laws.

The newly emboldened progressives in Albany have made combating sexual harassment a top priority.
Lawmakers from both houses of the Legislature held a joint hearing on the issue in anhattan Friday, a follow-up to a hearing in February that was the first of its kind in almost 30 years.

Gothamist: NYC Sex Workers Rally In Albany For Two Decriminalization Bills

Over a hundred sex workers, activists, and allies converged on Albany yesterday to call for the passage of two bills aimed at protecting sex workers from police harassment and clearing their records of crimes traffickers forced them to commit. The trip, part of a recently-announced push to decriminalize sex work in New York State, highlighted the newfound willingness of a precarious community to publicly campaign for their rights.

Bloomberg News: New Yorkers to Pay 20 Percent Sales Tax on Vaping Products

“There’s certainly no reason why we should be taxing different nicotine delivery systems differently, whether they’re tobacco cigarettes or e-cigarettes,” said Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried (D), who chairs the Health Committee. “The experience is pretty clear that taxing the product discourages use.”

Gottfried and Rivera make the case for single-payer health care

If the New York Health Act were to become law, it would revolutionize health care in the United States. No state has ever successfully implemented a single-payer system at such a scale, but the chairs of the Assembly and state Senate health committees say it can be done. City & State caught up with Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and state Sen. Gustavo Rivera to discuss the bills they are sponsoring in their respective chambers and how they think the proposal can make its way through the Legislature.

Crain’s: Assembly and Senate propose restoration of Medicaid funding

The Assembly and state Senate on Tuesday released details of their budget proposals, restoring $550 million in Medicaid funding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had stripped from his spending plan after a downward revision in expected tax revenue.

Times-Union: Hospitals, providers urge N.Y. lawmakers to restore Cuomo health care cuts

Health care workers, leaders and advocates swarmed the state Capitol Tuesday to urge lawmakers to restore $550 million in funds that were slashed from the governor’s original budget proposal to help plug a
larger than expected revenue shortfall.

Chanting “Don’t cut health care” and holding signs that said “Some cuts never heal,” hundreds of health care workers converged at the Empire State Plaza from all around the state and then marched to the Capitol, packing Albany’s normally busy downtown with off-duty ambulances, buses and foot traffic.

The Nation: “Richard Gottfried’s Health Care Crusade Is Paying Off”

Two posters hang on the door of New York State Assembly member Richard Gottfried’s Albany office. One has a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., underneath a quote: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” The other says “Healthcare is a Human Right!” and urges the reader to “Pass the New York Health Act.”

Gay City News: New Push to Decriminalize Sex Work in New York State

More than 20 groups — including several LGBTQ organizations — and a handful of local politicians are joining forces with DecrimNY, a new coalition of sex workers and advocates focused on “decriminal­izing, decarcerating, and destigmati­zing” their lives and livelihoods. The coalition kicked off on Monday during a press conference with advocates and politicians.