New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced he will bring the “New York Health Act” (A. 5062/S. 3525) to a vote before the end of the June legislative session. The Act would provide universal, comprehensive health care to all New Yorkers without premiums, co-pays, deductibles, or limited provider networks. The bill has broad support in the Assembly, with 78 out of 150 members signed on as sponsors. State Senate support is more limited, with 20 of 63 members sponsoring the bill. Nevertheless, the Assembly vote is considered a major step towards ultimate passage of this groundbreaking law.
NYSNA members greeted speaker Heastie’s announcement with excitement.
Senator Bill Perkins, the State Senate sponsor of the bill will be working to achieve broader support among his colleagues, adding that the “New York Health bill will finally put ‘patients before profits,’ while vastly improving our healthcare delivery system, saving the state billions of dollars, and finally recognizing that the greatest wealth in our society is our collective health.” The question now becomes one of whether our lawmakers move forward on this essential measure or bend to the pressure of special interests from the insurance, pharmaceutical and other industries who profit from the dysfunction of the current system.