Unlike Elise Stefanik, NYS Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner is not afraid to meet publicly with her constituents. She held a series of town hall meetings during the April legislative recess. I attended the Greenwich meeting, along with 40 or 50 other area residents. Her exchange with constituents lasted two hours.
Some of us asked her to support the New York Health Act. This critically important bill would reduce the cost of health care for 98 percent of New Yorkers. It sets up a universal, single payer system similar to Medicare — only with higher reimbursement rates for providers. All New York residents would be covered. Best of all, by taking private insurance companies out of health care, we would save $45 billion a year!
The U.S. is virtually the only industrialized nation without universal health care. Nearly 18 percent of U.S. gross domestic product goes to health care. That’s much more than any other developed country. Our costs are also escalating faster. Yet millions of Americans struggle without health insurance or are severely uninsured. The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. health care system 37th — below 36 other nations.
Carrie Woerner does not support the New York Health Act. She may not understand how urgent it is to get rid of our irrational system and its out-of-control insurance costs, high deductibles and co-pays, denial of needed services, and lack of coverage for so many people. The burden created by the current system cripples the finances of families and private businesses. Finally, a shocking percentage of our school and property taxes go to pay for health insurance and the county share of Medicaid.
All this will change when our state legislators pass the New York Health Act (A4738/S4840). Contact your state senator and member of the Assembly to urge them to support this bill.
Tracy Frisch, Argyle