Events

New York Health Act Rally In Bay Ridge 5/31: In Favor of State-Wide Single-Payer

Tomorrow afternoon outside State Senator Marty Golden’s Office in Bay Ridge, there will be a rally, and organizers are expecting a large crowd of people to attend to advocate for Bill S4840, also known as the New York health act, to be released for a vote in the Senate.

New York health act passed the New York Assembly earlier this month, and this rally is hoping to push State Senator Marty Golden, a Republican, to work together with his colleagues and release the bill from the Senate Health Committee to the floor for a vote before the end of the legislative session on June 21st.

The New York health act is co-sponsored by 108 elected representatives, including 30 Members of the Senate and 78 Members of the Assembly. Here’s a summary of the full text you can find on the senate page:

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :

This bill would create a universal single payer health plan - New York
Health - to provide comprehensive health coverage for all New Yorkers.

 SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :

Every New York resident would be eligible to enroll, regardless of
age, income, wealth, employment, or other status.

There would be no network restrictions, deductibles, or co-pays.
Coverage would be publicly funded. The benefits will include
comprehensive outpatient and inpatient medical care, primary and
preventive care, prescription drugs, laboratory tests, rehabilitative,
dental, vision, hearing, etc. - all benefits required by current state
insurance law or provided by the state public employee package, Family
Health Plus, Child Health Plus, Medicare, or Medicaid, and others
added by the plan.

Everyone would choose a primary care practitioner or other provider to
provide care coordination - helping to get the care and follow-up the
patient needs, referrals, and navigating the system. But there would
be no "gatekeeper" obstacles to care.

As with most health coverage, New York Health covers health care
services when a member is out of state, either because health care is
needed while the member is traveling or because there is a clinical
reason for going to a particular out-of-state provider.

A broadly representative Board of Trustees will advise the
Commissioner of Health. Longterm care coverage is not included at the
start, but the bill requires that the Board develop a plan for it
within two years of passage. The Board shall also develop proposals
relating to retiree health benefits and coverage of health care
services covered under the workers' compensation law.

In addition to the Board, there will be six regional advisory councils
to represent the diverse needs and concerns of the region. The
councils shall include but not be limited to representatives of health
care consumers, providers, municipal and county government, and
organized labor. The councils shall advise the Board, Commissioner,
Governor, and Legislature on matters elating to the NY Health program
and shall adopt community health improvement plans to promote health
care access and quality in their regions.

Health care providers, including those providing care coordination,
would be paid in full by New York Health, with no co-pays or other
charges to patients. The plan would develop alternative payment
methods to replace old-style fee-for-service (which rewards volume but
not quality), and would negotiate rates with health care provider
organizations. (Fee-for-service would continue until new methods are
phased in.) The bill would authorize health care providers to form
organizations to collectively negotiate with New York Health. Health
care would no longer be paid for by insurance companies charging a
regressive "tax" - insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays -
imposed regardless of ability to pay. Instead, New York Health would
be paid for based on ability to pay, through a progressively-graduated
payroll-based premium (paid at least 80% by employers and not more
than 20% by employees, and 100% by self-employed) and a
progressively-graduated premium based on other taxable income, such as
capital gains, interest and dividends. A specific revenue plan,
following guidelines in the bill, would be submitted to the
Legislature by the Governor.

Federal funds now received for Medicare, Medicaid, Family Health and
Child Health Plus would be combined with the state revenue in a New
York Health Trust Fund. New York would seek federal waivers that will
allow New York to completely fold those programs into New York Health.
The "local share" of Medicaid funding - a major burden on local
property taxes - would be ended.

Private insurance that duplicates benefits offered under New York
Health could not be offered to New York residents. (Existing retiree
coverage could be phased out and replaced with New York Health.)

The rally is co-hosted by South Brooklyn Progressive Resistance and Fight Back Bay Ridge, and co-sponsored by a long list of community organizations including Campaign for New York Health, NYC DSA, NY Health Act Now, #GetOrganizedBK, Bay Ridge Democrats, Brooklyn ReSisters, Rally for Healthcare, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, Social Alternative, Gray Panthers, New York 17th District for Progress, and Green Party of Brooklyn.

“Sen. Marty Golden has the chance to be a hero for our community by revolutionizing healthcare in our state,” said one of the event organizers, Sarah Zorn. “We are really hoping that he would work with his colleagues on the Senate Health Committee to release this bill from committee to a floor vote before the end of the legislative session.”

The rally to pass the New York Health Act will take place at Marty Golden’s Bay Ridge, Brooklyn office (7408 5 th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209) on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Links below will help you learn more and take action, whether you think New York should have universal healthcare or not: www.NYHCampaign.org, www.passNYHealth.com, Senate Bill S4840

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I am mystified as to why we continue to put up with this endless shakedown from insurance companies. Their overreach has clearly hit a tipping point, and the solution is Medicare-for-all in NYS. My insurance premium (I am self-employed) has increased by 16% in one year. That’s nuts.

    The New York State Health Act passed in the Assembly by a 3 to 1 margin recently, and it would give any NYS resident health insurance with no copays or deductibles. It would protect the right of private practice, save businesses (as a small business owner, I totally support it) and taxpayers billions, help upstate counties significantly reduce their property taxes and it would create lots of jobs.

    Golden needs to start dealing with reality.

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