State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown) yesterday brought the Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) to the heart of her district for a Town hall discussion on the future of healthcare in New York.
The discussion, held at the Jewish Community Center in Canarsie, aimed to educate constituents on the potential threat to their coverage should the American Care Act be repealed and replaced. It comes after the Trump Administration and the GOP-controlled House recent unsuccessful attempt to repeal the ACA.
Panelists for the town hall included Dell Smitherman, the field director of the 1199SEIU-UHE labor union; Dr. Donald Moore from the NY Metro Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program; Chuck Salvo, the senior vice president of Faculty Practice and Ambulatory at Brookdale Hospital; Ari Moma, a NYSNA Member and Registered Nurse at Interfaith Medical Center; Debra Lesane from the Caribbean Women’s Health Association; and María Alvarez, executive director of the New York Statewide Senior Action Council.
Persaud, Stewart-Cousins and Senate Democrats have made a commitment to not only protecting the ACA, but also enacting the New York Health Act – a comprehensive, universal healthcare plan for every New Yorker. Under the plan, private insurance coverage would be replaced by a single-payer system: a method that would eliminate financial barriers to healthcare.
Persaud has additionally sponsored legislation that would cement New York’s Health Exchange into state law.
“Even though the latest effort to repeal and replace The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was thwarted, our universal health care program remains under threat. We cannot allow the 3.6 million New Yorkers who receive coverage under the Affordable Care Act to be harmed by actions on Capitol Hill. That is why this event is so important,” said Persaud.
“I am proud to sponsor legislation that would cement New York’s Health Exchange into state law because I believe income should not be a factor when it comes to quality care. My colleagues and I in the State Senate will continue to fight for substantive and fully realized affordable health care in New York for all New Yorkers. I want to thank Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and all of the panelists as well as all the members of the community for coming to this important town hall.”
Stewart-Cousins said it was great to be in Brooklyn and she commended Persaud for putting together this important community discussion on Healthcare.
“Every hard-working person and family in New York State has a right to affordable and quality health insurance. The Senate Democratic Conference will not sit idly by while the White House attempts to strip away New Yorkers’ health coverage and the Senate Republicans turn a blind-eye. That is why with the hard work of Senator Persaud and the Senate Democrats we are fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act and strive for a Single Payer plan in New York – and with a Democratic Majority we can achieve these goals,” Stewart-Cousins said.
Both Smitherman and Moma said they supported the proposed legislation, and thought it was important that discussion on both the bill and healthcare be brought directly to local district constituents.
“As frontline nurses, we know how vital access to quality care is for New Yorkers. Unfortunately, many fear losing some or all of their benefits, which is why it is so important for New York to step in and guarantee equal access to benefits for all New Yorkers, regardless of income. The New York Health Act is a necessary next step to eliminating healthcare inequality and getting us closer to a true universal healthcare system,” said Moma.