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January 27, 2017

I know what I’m needin’, and I don’t want to waste more time
Posted by Avram Grumer at 03:34 AM * 13 comments

Hey, New Yorkers (City and State)! Want health care? There’s a bill making its way through our state legislature that would set up a state-wide single-payer health care system! It’s called the New York Health Act, and it’s already been passed by the Democratic-majority State Assembly. Next step is to push it through the Republican-controlled State Senate, so backers of the bill have scheduled a call-in day for Friday, January 27th, 9AM–9PM. Look up your State Senator’s phone number, call ’em up, and ask them to pass it.

This isn’t the first time this bill has been tried. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried has been pushing it since 1999, but it got through the Assembly for the first time in 2015. Maybe this year it’ll get through both houses. And if not, we can try again next year.

Comments on I know what I'm needin', and I don't want to waste more time:
#1 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 10:01 AM:

I wish Oregon had the revenue base for this sort of plan.

#2 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 10:04 AM:

I've shared the link on my FB feed to get the word out.

Thanks for mentioning it, as I hadn't heard of it before. I fully support singel-payer. As I've put it, I'm not fond of the ACA because it's about health insurance. I don't care about heath insurance, I care about health care.

But the image gallery at the top of that page is awful, as it makes the text on the page jump every 3 seconds.

#3 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 10:06 AM:

Stefan Jones @1:

If Oregon has the revenue base to pay for health insurance now, it'll have the revenue base to pay for single-pay health care.

The same money comes out of your collective pockets and into the pockets of doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists, the difference is whether you pay it to an insurance company or to the State government.

#4 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 10:12 AM:

Governor Charlie Baker (R!) is pushing one for Massachusetts. Maybe we can pool.

#5 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 10:45 AM:

Acually, @Stefan et all, single-payer is almost always cheaper than many-insurance-companies, because doctors' offices don't have to hire twice as many billing specialists as doctors.

I mean, billing specialists are cheaper, but it's still ridiculous. I know one two-doctor practice that has five front-office staff who do nothing but call up insurance companies to chase down payments, appeal rejected claims, and so on and so on. Five people. 40 hours a week. For two doctors' patients.

There's a lot of money currently being spent in the US healthcare system that really doesn't need to be spent at all (for example, the insurance-side people the doctors' billing specialists are talking to on the phone). That does theoretically "cut jobs," but with the unemployment rate as low as it is and the middle-insurance-jobs workers being relatively educated, I think it's a loss we could absorb. And all of them would have more money to spend in the economy instead of on throwing it down a hole.

#6 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 11:17 AM:

5
I've hear that also - every insurance company has a slightly-different set of forms, and they won't accept anything else.
(Doctors don't like insurance companies all that much.)

#7 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 01:18 PM:

I'd vote for a single payer state system in an instant. The Blue parts of Oregon probably would join in.

But FYIage: Oregon voted in two mandates last fall (Outdoor School, Veterans care) but failed to pass a new corporate tax. There's a BIG budget hole as a result.

#8 ::: weatherglass ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 02:12 PM:

I'm back in NY state for the first time in years, and I just called. Thanks for posting this--I hadn't heard anything about it until yesterday, when suddenly I saw several stories about the act and the call-in. As one of those people who never seems to find out about this stuff until afterwards, I really appreciate the amount of signal-boosting going on at the moment.

#9 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2017, 02:20 PM:

For those of you with Republican State Senators -- emphasize that passing this bill would get your state OUT of Obamacare...

#10 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2017, 11:35 PM:

We actually had something on the ballot this year in Colorado. Sadly, it was a citizen initiative, and ... insufficiently thought through, so it was roundly defeated. But if our legisature came up with something that was, you know, funded, I suspect it might be well received.

#11 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2017, 03:25 PM:

I called today and spoke to someone at my state senator's office who spoke with nuance and treated me like a thinking, mature person who could be trusted with details! It was awesome!

The gist: he's super concerned about the dismantling of the ACA. Last year, if the bill actually makes it out of the Health Committee to a general Senate vote (unlike last year), and if my senator & counsel review it and it hasn't had any poison-pill riders attached to it, then yeah, he's in favor. But he can't definitively say yes till he sees the version that gets out of committee -- and, given the current balance of power in the chamber (including the "independent Democrats" who caucus with the Republicans), chances seem low.

Another reason to work to flip the State Senate at the next opportunity.

#12 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2017, 03:54 PM:

Spoke to my NY State Sen's office, and got a lot of hostility towards the bill from the person on the phone. The person at the office said that lots of people are calling to express their support for it, but that they haven't actually read the bill, they have just heard about it from "the liberal media" (their words).

I wanted to ask where I could find this "liberal media" they spoke of, but instead I asked whether there were any particular provisions in the bill that I should be concerned about. "No, you should just read the whole thing and make up your own mind." But constituents are busy, I replied, and don't have time to read legislation before forming an opinion about it. Not only that, it's not easy for lay-people to understand legislative language. If *you* have concerns, what should I be looking for? Office worker again declined to cite any specifics, just expressed vague suspicions.

I asked whether the Senator has any position on the bill. No. When will the Senator have a position on the bill? No idea. Weeks, months? No idea.

Could the Senator's staff--I know you're overworked already, but could you and other staff in Albany--develop a voters' guide to describe the bill, drawing attention to the parts you think we should be aware of?

That actually struck the staffer as a new idea, and not an unwelcome one. So perhaps something good will come of my call, if it moves the staffer to suggest a voter's guide to the Senator.

The staffer was not altogether bad--spoke to me politely, and was open to talking. But the underlying tone was strongly against the bill. (Not surprising--it's a Republican State Sen.)

So I'm glad that I called!!

#13 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2017, 03:11 AM:

I called my State Senator’s office last Friday. Got told that he co-sponsored last year’s version of the bill, and expects to do the same this year. (My local pols are pretty on top of things.)

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