by Ursula Rozum
NY Health Act: Guaranteed Healthcare for All
Do you worry about the cost of healthcare?
Ever stayed in a job because of the health benefits?
Have you ever delayed going to the doctor or filling a prescription due to the cost?
Do you believe healthcare should be guaranteed for everyone?
The for-profit privatized healthcare system is hurting all of us — and it’s gone on far too long. There is a law being considered by New York State legislators that would establish healthcare as a right for every resident of our state. Introduced in the State Senate by Senator Gustavo Rivera, the New York Health Act will establish a universal, public healthcare program that will guarantee access to healthcare for all New Yorkers regardless where you work, your age, or your immigration status. Rather than paying premiums to private insurance companies and then paying more in copays when we go to the doctor or to fill a prescription, with the New York Health Act, we will all contribute to the healthcare system through our taxes but will not have to pay out of pocket costs when we seek medical care. According to a 2018 analysis of the NY Health Act by the RAND Corporation, 95% of New Yorkers will pay less for healthcare than we do now and all necessary care will be covered, including dental care, vision care, mental healthcare, reproductive healthcare, and long-term care.
Through collective research surveying 2400 New Yorkers, the Campaign for New York Health found that 50% of New Yorkers with insurance struggle to get the care they need and that women, immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income seniors, and transgender people are disproportionately negatively impacted by our broken healthcare system. An overwhelming number of survey respondents (73%) reported being uninsured at some point in their lives.
New Yorkers who rely on insurance through an employer, spouse, or parent report not having the freedom to make significant life choices for fear of losing insurance or access to covered providers or services.
65% of health professional respondents report witnessing different treatments for patients based on their health insurance status.
Lack of health insurance has been a fact of life for almost everyone and in the current system, coverage is unreliable and precarious.
Do you want to learn how you can advocate for our right to healthcare here in New York State? The Campaign for New York Health will be holding Healthcare Storytelling Trainings in Syracuse in English on Wednesday, March 4 and Monday March 23. There will be a Spanish language Healthcare Storytelling Training in April. Want to learn more about the New York Health Act? Visit nyhcampaign.org or contact Ursula, (315) 414-7720.