Nurses, Patients, Unions and Community Leaders Speak Out in Favor of Universal Healthcare Act at Assembly Hearing on Long Island

On Wednesday, December 17, the New York State Assembly held a hearing on Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried’s New York Health Act, which would create a state-wide universal healthcare program.  Nurses, doctors, patients, advocates, union leaders and faith leaders offered personal stories, detailing how the current healthcare system is increasingly too expensive for the average family and many employers, and called on the Legislature to pass the proposal. 

“We have reached a tipping point in how we deliver healthcare services in this state, and the time has come to re-organize our system of care so that the priority is patient need and not corporate profits,” said Michael Healy, an RN at St Charles Hospital and a member of the NYSNA Board of Directors.  “As healthcare professionals, we know what patient need is about. And we can create a rational, comprehensive system built upon that central understanding. That is what single payer is all about.”

By eliminating unnecessary insurance company overhead and administrative costs that doctors and hospitals incur dealing with insurance companies, the “New York Health” Act would save New York consumers more than $20 billion a year, while giving everyone access to the doctor and medicine they need. The Long Island hearing was the fifth of six hearings to be held in Long Island, New York City, Central and Western New York, and the Capital Region.  For more information including all dates and locations, please see: