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Gottfried Tells Blue Collar Buzz: Whatever They Do In Washington Will Only Make Healthcare Worse!

May 18, 2017
By Joe Maniscalco

Blue Collar Buzz: Assembly Member Gottfried.

New York, NY - The health insurance scheme being concocted in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate will only make the nation’s already broken healthcare system much worse -- and the only way out is universal single-payer healthcare, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried recently said on an episode of LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airing Sunday night at 9 p.m. on AM970. 

“One of the major reasons why there is so much attention around the country to single-payer is because it’s clear that anything they do in Washington — whatever they finally do — is only going to make things worse,” Assembly Member Gottfried [D-75th District] said. “It’s going to make Medicaid worse. It’s going to make Medicare worse. It’s going to make private insurance worse.” 

Earlier this week, the New York State Assembly seemed to agree, when it voted to approve Assembly Member Gottfried's New York State Health Act — the third time the lower state house has tried to bring Emprie State in line with virtually every industrialized nation in the world in switching to universal healthcare. 

“Everyone who resides here regardless of their wealth or what they do for a living, if anything, or how they got here, would be completely covered with complete universal coverage with no premiums, deductibles, co-pays, [and] no restrictive provider networks” Assembly Member Gottfried said. 

Not only will bringing singe-payer healthcare to New York State fully cover all 20 million residents, Assembly Member Gottfried insisted it will also save taxpayers a bundle.

“Today, family health coverage and out-of-pocket health costs for [an average New York] family is about 17-percent or so of their household income — whether paid by the employer or by the family,” Gottfried said. “Under the New York Health Act, the comparable number would be about 6- or 7-percent.”

In addition to achieving savings by avoiding the 20- to 25-percent of every healthcare dollar that now goes to insurance company administration costs and profit, the New York Health Act promises to slash the burden on taxpayers by impacting the local share of Medicaid funding and the money spent on costly public employee health benefits. 

“Now, in New York City we don’t pay a lot of attention to the local share of Medicaid,” Assembly Member Gottfried said. “But in every place else in New York State, that’s a big chunk of the town or school district property tax. So, moving that to the New York State Health Act taxes will be a real progressive change. Secondly, local governments spend a lot of money on public employee health benefits. And the insurance companies, again, want the same premiums whether you’re covering a school teacher or a multimillion dollar CEO. But the New York Health Act payroll tax on a school teacher’s salary will be a whole lot less than the premium is today.”

Nationwide, Republican members of Congress who led the fight to scrap Obamacare in the House, are currently facing an increasing barrage of angry constituents who are having the terrible realization that their representatives have put them in serious jeopardy. 

“The Affordable Care Act made a lot of very important improvements,” Assembly Member Gottfried added. “But it basically leaves us in the hands of insurance companies — and so, a lot of people have now seen, as long as we’re in the hands of insurance companies, we’re going to have real problems.”

Although single-payer legislation has passed the New York State Assembly on three prior occasions -- only to later die in the New York State Senate -- the New York Health Act is presently riding a powerful wave fueled by Washington’s profound failures surrounding healthcare.

“If we pick up one senator who sits on the Republican side of the aisle, we will have a majority of the State Senate — not just saying they are for the bill, but signed on as co-sponsors,” Assembly Member Gottfried said. 

All eyes now turn to State Senator Simcha Felder — a Democratic legislator from Brooklyn who caucuses with Republican legislators. Last month, State Senator Felder went on record stating that he has no position on the New York Health Act. 

“It’s pretty clear that the only way out of this mess is improved Medicare for all, single-payer [healthcare],” Assembly Member Gottfried said. 

LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airs every Sunday night on AM970 The Answer from 9 to 10 p.m. This week’s episode, as well as every other episode of LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” is also available on demand at www.am970theanswer.com.

 

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