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WXXI News: Assemblyman Brings Universal Health Care Message to Labor Leaders

By Michelle Faust, 12/9

A downstate legislator is visiting union representatives throughout the state to discuss his plan for universal health care.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried was in Rochester Wednesday as part of a tour that will continue into January.

The assemblyman believes he’s closer than ever in his two decade crusade to bring single payer health care to New York State. The plan won in the state assembly in May, but not the senate.

“The New York Health Act would create a universal, publically funded, totally comprehensive health plan for every New Yorker that would be funded through broad based assessments on taxable income based on ability to pay,” says Gottfried.

The Assemblyman is not deterred by the Vermont governor scrapping his year-long push for a similar plan last year.

“New York is different, partly because we have a much stronger economy statewide than Vermont does,” he says.

Gottfried says the Affordable Care Act doesn’t go far enough, “but what people want is not insurance. They want health care. And having insurance from insurance companies and other health plans doesn’t always get you health care.”

Critics call the plan unrealistic.