Rally for New York Health Act at Lafayette Square

Rally calls for passage of universal health care in NYS

Mike Baggerman
June 16, 2017 - 1:48 pm

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Members of the Liberty Union Progressives, formerly known as Buffalo for Bernie, rallied at Lafayette Square on Friday afternoon and called for the passage of the New York Health Act.

According to the New York State Assembly, the legislation is a system of access to health insurance for state residents. It also provides payment methodoligies and care coordination and also establishes a Health Trust Fund which would hold monies from a variety of sources to be used solely to finance the plan.

While legislation has already garnered plenty of support in the New York State Assembly, passing on June 1, the bill is held up in the health committee of the New York State Senate by just one vote. Local organizers are calling for the support of State Senator Chris Jacobs.

"The New York Health Act would be a universal comprehensive, single-payer health care coverage system," Kevin Ketchum, a volunteer with Liberty Union Progressives said. "It essentially means that every New York resident would have full health care coverage and, therefore, ready access to any health care they need, without regard to their income, status of employment, or any other status. Simply being a resident of New York would get you covered."

A common criticism of the universal health care system is that it adds another tax burden onto residents. New York residents, already among the most highly taxed in the nation, would have more money taken from them as a result.

"People are afraid of the word tax," he said. "What you have to keep in mind with this situation is that the New York Health Act would be partially funded by a payroll tax. However, that would be in place of a private tax, which is the premiums that insurance companies charge, the high deductibles that are ever-increasing and we know premiums are going up...This would eliminate co-insurance, the cost-sharing that occurs if you do meet your deductible and have further health care needs."

Senator Jacobs did not attend the rally.

LISTEN: Kevin Kethum of Liberty Union Progressives

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