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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.

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.

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

CBS Radio: NYS Bill Would Make It Easier For Parents To Opt Out Of Vaccines Over Religious Objections

May 31, Audio here.

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Vaccines for public school students are required in New York state, unless parents claim the shots violate their religious beliefs.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the bill would make it easier for parents to receive a religious exemption. They would just need to sign an affidavit.

New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) wants people to be vaccinated, and he understands some parents might make up a religious objection.

But he said, “I think that’s the price you have to pay for respecting peoples’ claim of a religious belief.”

But Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at NYU Medical School, said, “I think we don’t need that legislation right now.”

He worries that vaccine rates in certain districts will go down.

“The problem is with diseases like measles, you’ve got to get up to rates like 90, 95 percent to protect the whole population,” Caplan said.

He said students who are vulnerable would be put at risk.

The vaccine bill was before the state Senate Health Committee on Thursday.

ABC 7: New York lawmakers hold hearing on physician-assisted suicide (w/ video)

By Dave Evans, May 3 (video in link)

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) –

State lawmakers in New York are taking a closer look at a legislative proposal to give terminally ill people the right to seek life-ending medication from their physician.

The Assembly’s Health Committee held a public hearing on the measure Thursday in Manhattan. It came after a hearing last month in Albany.

The proposal now before lawmakers, called the Medical Aid in Dying Law, would require two doctors to sign off on the use of life-ending medication. The patient must be within six months of death and must self-administer the drug.

Capitol Pressroom: Medical Aid in Dying (Audio)

On April 23, I joined Assembly Member Amy Paulin on Capitol Pressroom to discuss Medical Aid in Dying:  Audio here.

News 10 Albany: NY Assembly hearing held on aid in dying (with video)

By Morgan McKay, 4/23/18 (video at link)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York Assembly heard testimony that will decide if they should proceed with legislation that would allow for medical aid in dying or physician-assisted suicide.

“They should have had the right to choose,” Janet Duprey, Former Republican Assemblywoman from Plattsburgh, said.

Duprey says her mother suffered a series of strokes and eventually requested for her feeding tube to be removed.

“She did not want the feeding tube reinserted, she simply wanted to die. It took her 11 days to starve to death.

For this reason, Duprey and a large crowd in yellow shirts came to the Assembly hearing to show their support for medical aid in dying legislation.

WAMC: Brain Injury Association of New York Rallies at Capitol (w/ Audio)

By Elizabeth Hill, 3/21 (audio in link)

The Brain Injury Association of New York State held a rally at the state capitol in Albany Tuesday.

About 150 supporters of the Brain Injury Association of New York State gathered at the legislature for a day of action, visibility and advocacy. The organization says thousands of New Yorkers suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury are in need of vital services. Eileen Reardon is the group’s Executive Director:

“As we attend meetings, and speak with policymakers today we speak from the heart on the issues and make them recognize the needs of this community. Together we show strength, together we will make a difference, together we are the voice of brain injury,” said Reardon.

Advocates spoke out against Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget plan, which includes a proposal to raise the threshold of assessment that qualifies individuals for Medicaid Waiver programs. The Medicaid Waiver Programs allow states to treat certain Medicaid populations at home or in other community-based settings rather than in institutional or long-term care facilities like hospitals or nursing homes. Victoria Clingan, Director of Engagement and Advocacy for BIANYS (Bee-AN-US), says the changes just wouldn’t work.

Audio – Capitol Pressroom Interview