Healthcare

Every New Yorker deserves free, quality care—no questions asked. Every care worker deserves to earn a good living providing it.

Healthcare Justice

Getting medical attention when we need it should be an everyday fact of our lives. Access to healthcare should not depend on income, employment, marriage or legal status. It’s time to build a system that puts our well-being first, and guarantees universal care for all.

  • Eliminate copays and guarantee universal healthcare and long-term care for all New Yorkers by passing the New York Health Act (A7897). This would give New Yorkers access to the full spectrum of healthcare, including mental, dental, vision, and reproductive care.
  • Introduced an International Reference Price for Prescription Drugs bill (A9086) to create a pilot program to set an upper limit on how much the most expensive drugs can cost based on how much they cost in Canada. Currently drugs in the United States cost over three times more on average for brand drugs than in similar countries.
  • Eliminate copays for insulin (A4141). Over 2 million New Yorkers have diabetes, and no one should be forced to ration life-saving medicine because of its cost.
  • Extend essential coverage to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, by passing Coverage for All (A3020). This will impact over 154,000 people and save the state and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars they spend on emergency care.

Care For Our Care Workers

Those who work tirelessly to keep us healthy and safe should never have to struggle to do their job. Overworking and underpaying nurses, home aides, and other direct caregivers has created a worker shortage that endangers us all. Care work is essential and it’s time to act like it.

  • Middlemen in the insurance industry have been siphoning money that was supposed to go to homecare workers. The Home Care Savings and Reinvestment Act (A8470) will return the management of Medicaid home care to the State, save $3 billion a year, and make sure the money gets to the workers.
  • Protect the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) that allows Medicaid beneficiaries to arrange their home care.
  • Protect human services workers by fulling funding cost of living adjustment (COLA) and direct service wage enhancement.
  • Fully fund Safe Staffing to protect healthcare workers and their patients, and create fines for hospitals that do not comply with their staffing plans.
  • Eliminate the medicaid cap that leads to under-funding of our hospitals, creating a two-tiered system. The medicaid reimbursement rate should be determined by need.
  • Update the reimbursement methodology to reflect the costs facing Community Health Centers (A7560), which play a critical role as safety net providers in the district
  • Hold management accountable and prevent the kind of staff layoffs we’ve seen at hospitals like HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston.

Forward Looking Treatment

Public Health research shows mental health struggles, substance abuse, and the opioid crisis will not be solved through carceral punishment, but through compassionate, rehabilitative care. Too often, these resources and tools are withheld from all but the rich/celebrities—we must make them available to all.

  • Create mental health courts in every county with Treatment Not Jail (A1263B), which will divert those with mental health and substance use issues to treatment instead of prisons
  • Ensure that compassionate mental health services will be the first responder to mental health crises, not armed police, by passing Daniel’s Law (A2210).
  • Make new investments to dramatically increase access to harm reduction, outreach services, supportive housing and Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Fully fund and expand universal access to life-saving public health tools for all New Yorkers: opioid agonist treatment, naloxone, and harm reduction services
  • Create safe injection sites, which are proven to reduce overdoses, including of opioids, and increase access to healthcare and rehabilitative services, by passing the Safer Consumption Services Act (A338).
  • Decriminalize buprenorphine, a vital treatment for opioid addiction
  • Fight to bring back mental health beds at HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston. The closure of 60 beds at the start of the pandemic has left Ulster County with no other option than to travel to neighboring counties for these services, which often means people don’t receive the services they need.
  • Invest in supportive housing and wrap around services

Reproductive Rights

Whether a person chooses to give birth or get an abortion, they have a right to the full healthcare options they need. We must make New York the “oasis” for reproductive rights it was once in the 1970’s, and we must fix our broken maternal care system.

  • Improve access to maternal healthcare, especially in Black and brown communities where maternal mortality rates have historically been higher
  • Fund abortion providers and non-profit organizations whose primary function is to facilitate access to abortion care by passing the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program Act (A361)
  • Raise awareness amongst voters to ensure we pass the Equality Amendment when it’s on the ballot this November
  • Make abortion pills available at all SUNY and CUNY campuses (A4091)
  • End abortion stigma through judgment-free sexual and health education (A4604)

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