To the editor:
On June 5, I joined hundreds of people from all over New York State to lobby in Albany in support of the New York Health Act.
The New York Health Act passed the Assembly for the fourth year in a row on June 14, and would provide a comprehensive system of access to health insurance for all New York state residents.
The equivalent bill (S.4840) has garnered 31 sponsors, including senators Jeffrey Klein and Andrea Stewart-Cousins, but has not been brought to a vote.
The United States spends more per capita on health care than any other country in the world, yet our life expectancy is the lowest of any highly industrialized nation. More than 1 million New Yorkers are currently without health insurance, and many more are inadequately insured.
This situation is likely to become worse as the U.S. Congress is looking for ways to cut back or repeal the coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act.
At the same time, the cost of private health care increases each year.
As corporations merge, downsize and restructure, a larger percentage of the work force finds it necessary to become independent contractors instead of full-time employees, thereby losing access to employer-based health insurance plans.
Thus a state-supported health insurance program is becoming more important for the well being of our citizens.
Please consider this important issue when you vote for your elected representatives in the primary and general elections.