Priority 1:  Expand Healthcare, Lower Costs
Measure health and wellness outcomes in upstate New York

Expand Health Care, Lower Costs

As Anthony De Bella's historical analysis begins:

"In 1793, President George Washington asked Congress to pass the first federal health law, a purely utilitarian proposal to allow the Chief Executive to convene Congress outside the Capitol if epidemic disease should threaten the members. Washington's move occurred when the great yellow fever epidemic forced the entire government to flee from Philadelphia... Congress obliged."

"It was quite another story when Congress debated a federal quarantine proposal in 1796. The House debate centered on the powers of the central government to impose the quarantine. States-rights proponents argued that the state's right to preserve health and life was 'inalienable' and paramount to the central government's power over commerce."

As De Bella notes, no one questioned the government's role protecting the health of the people. The debate was which level of government - the state or the central government - had that right and responsibility. About 225 years later, we are still arguing about government and healthcare.

My Vision is easy access to world-class health services for all.

I believe states are better positioned than the federal government to implement this goal and federal resources should be allocated to states for this purpose.

I fully support the New York Health Care Act assuming legislation addresses concerns about care coordinators, privacy and other issues. The New York Health Care Act would cover all medically necessary care, prescriptions, vision, dental, hearing, mental health, substance abuse treatment and reproductive services.  I agree others that one-third of private healthcare costs go to insurance billing, advertising, executive salaries and relentless bureaucracy. NY Health legislation, stalled again in the State Assembly, aims for universal coverage in New York State, individual choice of providers, and no more co-pays, deductibles or premiums. The profit-driven insurance industry would no longer be in charge of our healthcare.

I would support nationwide single-payer healthcare though doubt that it will pass before the 2020 election.

The roadmap for world class healthcare belongs to the states and includes immediate, short-term, mid-term and long term solutions. On July 1, 2018 I posted and distributed a Healthcare Roadmap with 4 Goals and 8 Strategies.

4 Strategic Goals

  1. Improve access and quality of healthcare in #NY21
  2. Reduce costs of healthcare and medications
  3. Build partnerships to deliver more healthcare
  4. Measure health outcomes

The Roadmap: 8 Solution Sets

Immediate:

1) Support New York Health Care Act

2) Leverage government investments and purchases to reduce costs of all medication

Short-Term:

3) Convene Healthcare Town Hall Meetings to assess needs and solutions

4) Convene local meetings to share information about healthcare resources

5) Create a multi-county transportation network for medical appointments

Mid-Term:

6) Implement creative, community defined actions to expand healthcare

Long-Term:

7) Reduce fraud and waste in Medicare, Medicaid and elsewhere to fund healthcare

8) Transition from fee for service to payment for bundled services and clear, measurable outcomes of health and well-being

Summary:  New York District 21 does not have sufficient healthcare resources and technologies throughout our mountain towns and rural counties – tragically and sometimes fatally. We need creative solutions and community input to provide world-class health care in #NY21. Even with universal healthcare coverage, the problem of access remains. In upstate New York, as in most of rural America, inadequate healthcare resources and an out-of-date infrastructure including internet and public transportation hurts our district. Expanding health care means more health professionals and more teachers in our health care professional training schools. Making sure our communities really understand what health care resources are available --matching need and resources -- will take a lot more communication with residents of #NY21.

My concerns about single-payer healthcare relate to the devastating failures of the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Services (sitting in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Transforming these institutions into world-class healthcare providers should go before expanding single-payer healthcare nationwide. We also need a clear transition plan for all current jobs in the private health insurance industry.

So 225 years after our Founding Fathers argued about healthcare as a function of the central government or as the right and responsibility of the states, we are still arguing.

In 2018, some consider healthcare in the wealthiest nation on the planet as a constitutionally granted right. Some consider healthcare a privilege. I believe universal healthcare is a function of government at all levels and considering the healthcare impact of global warming and bio-weapons, universal healthcare is now a matter of national security.