Let's not forget about health


To the editor:

(re: “Klein, Biaggi come out swinging in lone TV debate,” Aug. 16)

Sen. Jeffrey Klein had six brief words to say about health care in New York State in the debate with Alessandra Biaggi on Aug. 13: “I endorse the New York Health Act.”

A minimal statement about a legislative bill of great significance for all New Yorkers. And that’s aside from the question of how strongly he will support his own endorsement when he’s been absent (without leave) from the Democratic Party for all the years of his leading the Independent Democratic Conference, which gave control of the senate to Republicans. He’s a DINO — a Democrat in name only.

Just recently, an independent committee funded by the Greater New York Hospital Association gave IDC members Klein and David Valesky $325,000 to help their campaigns. In its newsletters, that hospital association cherry-picked items that criticize the Rand Commission’s overwhelmingly favorable report on the New York Health Act. 

Its headline declares “Single-payer for New York raises major concerns.” On the basis of his past record of holding on to IDC funds, it’s hardly beyond Sen. Klein to contradict his own “endorsement” of the health act.

Sen. Klein has several websites and an official state senate page, claiming vaguely there about how much he has done to keep New Yorkers healthy. But nowhere on that page does he even mention the New York Health Act, legislation that guarantees health care to all New Yorkers — which might already have been passed if not for the IDC’s obstruction.

So if it comes to “walking the good walk” for the act, how likely is he to do so when he has funding from organizations who so clearly oppose it?

By contract, Alessandra Biaggi’s website lists as the very first item of legislation she supports: Pass the New York Health Act, which would create a single-payer health care system in New York. 

And she catalogs its individual benefits, including long-term care.

So, all voters concerned about the present and future of health care in New York have a clear choice. Cast your ballot for Alessandra Biaggi, who is unequivocal about health care as a basic human right, badly needed in New York, which will — with this legislation — be a pathbreaker in the United States.

Berel Lang

Berel Lang,