The New York State Nurses Association Commends The Rockland County Legislature For Passing A Resolution Calling On State Lawmakers To ‘Vote Yes’ On The New York Health Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 6, 2017
Contact: Laura Montross, lmontross@kivvit.com 212-929-0669

THE NEW YORK STATE NURSES ASSOCIATION COMMENDS THE ROCKLAND COUNTY LEGISLATURE FOR PASSING A RESOLUTION CALLING ON STATE LAWMAKERS TO ‘VOTE YES’ ON THE NEW YORK HEALTH ACT

Resolution Vote was Unanimous: 17 Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Fourth County Legislature to Pass a Resolution Demanding Healthcare for All New Yorkers

Rockland County, NY --- The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) commends the members of the Rockland County Legislature for passing a resolution calling on State lawmakers to ‘vote yes’ on the New York Health Act. Last night’s vote was unanimous bringing together all 17 members, regardless of their political affiliation.

This is the fourth County Legislature to pass such a resolution including:

  • Sullivan County

  • Westchester County

  • Tompkins County

If passed, the New York Health Act (A. 4738 / S. 4840) would implement truly universal health care and eliminate financial barriers to care, while allowing people to go to the doctor and hospital of their choice. It would replace our current health care system that relies on private companies, Medicare and Medicaid with a single system covering all 20 million New Yorkers. As a result of the work of committed advocates across the state, the bill passed the State Assembly three years in a row in 2015, 2016, and 2017. There are 31 cosponsors in the NYS Senate; 32 needed for a majority.

Like the rest of the industrialized world, it will give New Yorkers access to health care without fear of bankruptcy.

This resolution effort was supported by the Campaign for New York Health, a statewide coalition of nurses, doctors, social workers, business owners, faith leaders, and concerned individuals committed to winning the right to health care in New York State.

“The New York Health Act would bring a sweeping – and overdue - change in the way that health care is administered and delivered in the state of New York. Independent analysis has determined that it would cost less and deliver more health services to where they need to go. I fully support this important legislation and urge full passage by the state Legislature,” said Rockland County Legislator Alden H. Wolfe (D), Deputy Majority Leader.

“The New York Health Act is a blueprint for the reorganization of health care in New York state. The way care is delivered now is increasingly unsustainable for individuals, families, businesses and government. We must act before the crisis worsens. A person should not avoid seeing their physician because they cannot afford the visit. When confronted with a critical illness a patient should be able to concentrate on how to overcome the disease and not whether treating the disease will force them into bankruptcy. I ask the state Legislature to move on this immediately,” said Rockland County Legislator Lon M. Hofstein (R), Minority Leader.

"I care for patients who are at their most vulnerable. Too many times I see patients having to fight insurance companies to get the care they absolutely need. Patients must literally fight for their lives at times. With the New York Health Act, medical decisions will be made between the doctor, nurse and patient not a bureaucrat who has no clinical training and has never even set eyes on the patient," said Chinyere Omwumelo, RN, member of the New York State Nurses Association and resident of Rockland County.

"This plan will not only reduce our company's operating expenses dramatically, but will eliminate the unfair competitive advantage of large businesses over small business in premium pricing, eliminate the tremendous burden of uncertainty for management, and allow our employees to sleep better knowing their access to healthcare is safeguarded," said Ben Goldstein, Ph.D. small business owner; President, End Point Corporation

"Pediatrics is THE only preventative branch of medicine. We give lip service to the adage that children are our future. Our society cannot afford to keep upping insurance premiums, co-pays, and pharmacy costs beyond the reach of millions of New Yorkers," said Harriet Hudson, MD, pediatrician.

"Rapidly rising healthcare costs for our public employees and retirees and the escalating County-level Medicaid taxes (already 55% of our countytaxes) are not currently controllable and in percentage terms they drive a large percentage of our budget increases every year, making the tax cap reallyhard to meet without cutting other parts of our public services. The NY Health Act could be a huge benefit to local taxpayers, especially inRockland and Orange Counties. It is estimated that 98% of New Yorkers would pay less for health care under this system, and the 2% who would pay more would be high-income earners. Also, small and medium-sized businesses would pay much less in payroll taxes and premiums than they do now (8.1% of revenue on average vs 12.8% currently.) New York Health, could reduce School District tax rates by at least 20% and could eliminate more than half of our County property
taxes. Getting full health care coverage while cutting property taxes seems like a no-brainer to me," said Susanne Kernan, Economist, small business owner.

"I am a psychotherapist practicing in Nyack. Many people call for mental health issues, including addiction, who cannot afford insurance or have minimal or no coverage for mental health. These people need our support and need treatment. That’s how communities remain healthy themselves," said Alan Levin, Psychotherapist, private practice.

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit our website at www.nysna.org. For more information on the Campaign for New York Health, visit www.nyhcampaign.org.

 

About NYSNA

We are 42,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.