We urge you to support the “New York Health” bill (A7860/S5425). Although the Affordable Care Act has made improvements in our health care system by expanding access and curbing the most abusive practices of the health insurance industry, it will not bring health care to all nor control costs. Millions will still be uninsured or underinsured—one job loss or illness away from bankruptcy. Billions of dollars will continue to be wasted by private, for-profit insurance companies. These dollars could all be going toward providing health care if we eliminated this unnecessary middleman.
As physicians we have seen, up close, how our patients are suffering: unable to pay for their medications, tests and doctor visits. Because of this, many delay treatment until their health is in jeopardy. They are forced to choose between buying food and buying pills. They avoid costly tests and doctor visits, so that a curable cancer becomes deadly due to lack of timely treatment. Every day five New Yorkers die due to lack of health care. That’s about 2,000 lives per year in our state.
We can do better.
There is a growing movement across the country to push for state single-payer systems; 25 states have introduced single payer bills. New York State can lead the way to health justice with the “New York Health” bill. It provides publicly funded, privately delivered health care. It would save taxpayers and businesses billions of dollars while improving health care for everyone. It would change the way we treat health care: as a basic human right and not as a luxury only some can afford.That is why we urge you to act to pass this important bill.
Please consider printing copies of the letter and soliciting signatures from your colleagues. Download a PDF version here.