As an organization focused on addressing the drivers of economic inequity, FPWA strongly supports the newly amended New York Health Act (A.5248, S.3577). The New York Health Act will guarantee coverage to every resident, providing much-needed healthcare services such as primary, vision, dental, hearing, mental health, and long-term care and support services. According to a recent study by the RAND Corporation, the plan eliminates the wasteful spending and business practices of private health insurance companies. As a result, 90% of New Yorkers will pay less than they do now for healthcare, even as access and coverage are increased.
The New York Health Act will continue to be a highly debated piece of legislation throughout this session. As such, we are urging all our member agencies and coalition partners to share a memo of support with their legislators in the next week to help show some support for this important and groundbreaking piece of legislation.
Please personalize our memo of support template for your organization below. We need as many support memos as possible to hit the offices of our legislators to show New York State’s commitment to promoting health equity.
Please reach out to Winn Periyasamy with any questions.
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Memorandum of Support
New York Health Act (A.5248, S.3577)
[Give some information about your organization – your name, which communities you serve, what neighborhoods you are working in, how long you’ve been around, how many people you reach per year, what are you focused on, etc.]
As an organization focused on addressing the drivers of economic inequity, [organization name] strongly supports the newly amended New York Health Act (A.5248, S.3577).
[Below is some language that summarizes some of the critical reasons why we need the New York Health Act. We encourage you to personalize and add to the information below – tell your elected officials why the New York Health Act is important to your organization and your community!]
Healthcare often is one of the greatest barriers to economic stability. Our current healthcare system leaves too many people uninsured and underinsured, just one serious accident or injury away from financial devastation. Over 1 million residents statewide are currently uninsured. In addition, 21% of New Yorkers with private or public health insurance are underinsured—going without prescribed medicines or needed healthcare due to high deductibles and co-pays.
There is a better way. The New York Health Act will guarantee coverage to every resident, providing much-needed healthcare services such as primary, vision, dental, hearing, mental health, and long-term care and support services.
Every New York resident will be covered under the New York Health Act – regardless of immigration status. This alleviates the burden that many immigrants face in navigating the complexity of health insurance plans, many of which exclude them from participation completely. With threats to immigrant access to health care such as the proposed changes to the public charge regulation, the NY Health Act would provide important protections for immigrant New Yorkers.
The New York Health Act would also provide coverage, regardless of age. Those who are currently on Medicare will see increased benefits with the NY Health plan, including vision, dental, hearing, and long-term care and support services. Costs will be significantly lower for seniors because of the progressive financing structure and the elimination of out-of-pocket costs for care, and they will be free to work with the provider of their choice.
New York State recently took an important step forward for reproductive health access by passing the Reproductive Health Act and Comprehensive Contraception Care Act. However, we must improve timely access to quality care for women – in particular, women of color – in order to reduce the alarming disparities in health outcomes linked to race and income. The New York Health Act would provide comprehensive reproductive healthcare coverage, including maternity care, abortion, and contraception.
The New York Health Act will also protect New Yorkers from federal attacks on healthcare. With attacks to the ACA continuing to this day, New York can do the right thing and guarantee healthcare to all residents through a state-funded program. While the current federal administration is not friendly to providing waivers to states pursuing single-payer plans, the New York Health Act includes provisions for implementation even in the absence of federal waivers.
Finally, according to a recent study by the RAND Corporation, the plan eliminates the wasteful spending and business practices of private health insurance companies. As a result, 90% of New Yorkers will pay less for healthcare than they do now, even as access and coverage are increased.
A state-run single payer healthcare system is not just good for patients – it also would help New York State healthcare providers. The New York Health Act will eliminate the burdensome paperwork and complexity associated with billing. Doctors and nurses will be able to focus on providing care, not fighting insurance companies. Hospitals will be able to budget and plan for patient care and safe staffing ratios with transparent pricing and costs.
For union workers, freeing pension funds from retiree health benefits will strengthen these funds, while guaranteeing high quality healthcare in an equitable and affordable system for themselves and their loved ones. By eliminating the need for employers to buy health coverage, the New York Health Act would make New York dramatically more job-friendly, especially for start-ups and low-margin businesses.
The New York Health Act would also bring financial relief to localities across New York State by eliminating their share of Medicaid – a financial burden that drives up local property taxes. Local governments, as employers, would save billions more for taxpayers.
For all these reasons and more, we see the New York Health Act as the most progressive and comprehensive single-payer bill in the nation. With the recent amendment to include comprehensive long-term care coverage, the New York Health Act would cover more services for every New Yorker while ultimately saving billions. We fully support the New York Health Act and look forward to a future with universal, guaranteed healthcare for all New York State residents.
For more information, please contact [Organizational contact name and phone number/email address].