We think it is only fair to follow up for your readers our letter to the editor published on July 6 in which we told of our unsatisfactory meeting with Sen. Betty Little requesting her sponsorship of the New York Health Bill (S4840).
The bill passed the Assembly and currently awaits just one more senator to bring it to the floor for a vote in the Senate. She has responded to our letter of request for her data sources supporting her repeated comment, “It will cost too much.” She cited two studies:
“The numbers I referenced came from a report published by Avik Roy of the Foundation for Research on Economic Opportunity (Freopp.org), which disputes both the basis for Gerald Friedman's assumptions and his savings estimates.” (She is referring to the comprehensive study we presented of the New York Health Act by Prof. Gerald Friedman, chair of the Economics Department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.) “Similarly, a report published by the Empire Center finds errors in Friedman's analysis.”
Now, it is vital for readers to understand the sources of Senator Little’s data are from opposition research groups and are not impartial studies. They were chosen specifically to refute the truly independent studies we offered which supports New York Health.
Freopp.org belongs to the State Policy Network, which is part of the Koch Brothers Organization. The Empire Center is a conservative think tank. Each provides no substantiation for the data in their reports. Each exists to promote a conservative right-wing agenda, and therefore should be considered suspect.
We, and others, will continue to urge Senator Little to sponsor this lifesaving single-payer legislation for our state. We won’t be fooled by bogus private interest studies.
Agata Stanford, Glens Falls
Linda Strangio, Glens Falls
Drew Monthie, Queensbury
Beth Fitzgerald, South Glens Falls