Stand up for single-payer health care


To the editor:

(re: “Time for health care for all,” Aug. 4)

The letter presents compelling evidence to support a movement toward a single-payer health care system that delivers to all Americans.

After a long and painful struggle to maintain the Affordable Care Act, 30 million individuals still lack basic health care. Furthermore, high administrative costs and subsidies to stabilize the insurance market continue to place a heavy and unnecessary financial burden on taxpayers.

A single-payer system would eliminate added costs imposed by insurance companies, and extend care to all who need it.

According to one Kaiser poll, 58 percent of Americans favor Medicare for all. However, powerful special interest groups that reap huge profits from the status quo influence legislators in Washington and Albany to oppose legislation of this kind.

Despite this, some independent and forward-thinking legislators on the federal level, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, and those at the state level like Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and Sen. Gustavo Rivera, have supported universal health care as the best way to widen access, improve quality, and reduce the spiraling cost of health care.

The New York Health Act would extend health care to all New Yorkers, and has passed the Assembly for three years in a row. Half of the state senate was signed on as co-sponsors at the end of the last session, but the Republican leadership did not even bring it up in committee, let alone a floor vote.

Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act were unsuccessful only because Americans flocked in unprecedented numbers to town hall meetings and street rallies, and signed petitions that demanded that health care is a right, and not a privilege. 

As New Yorkers, we are now in a unique and pivotal position to further influence the national debate on health care by taking action, and by urging our local legislators to stand up and vote in favor of the New York Health Act.

Renee Shanker

Renee Shanker