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New York Lawmakers to Get Earful on Healthcare “For All”

May 28, 2008

Albany, NY — Lawmakers will be all ears today as some of the 2.7 million affected New Yorkers step up to the microphone to explain what it's like living in fear of sickness and injury, because they can't afford health insurance. These are New Yorkers like Rick, a broadcaster who got laid off and can't afford the $500 monthly COBRA payment to keep his health insurance. He says the cost would eat up nearly half his monthly pension benefit.

"I am concerned because I'm getting older and you never know what's going happen. I don't like the feeling of being uninsured in my fifties. It's something I'm not used to because I always have been insured so if something goes wrong, I'm afraid it's going to be a problem."

Regional hearings have been held throughout the state leading up to today's meeting with lawmakers. Susan Dooha with New Yorkers for Accessible Health Care, a coalition of more than 50 organizations representing people with disabilities, says New York needs a system that covers all of the uninsured, and coverage needs to be comprehensive.

"Some kinds of coverage available in the state are really too limited to help anybody. They will allow you to go see a doctor, but if the doctor finds something wrong, you can't get the services or the health care assistance that you need. People need to be able to get mental health services, prescription drugs, dental coverage, and some rehabilitative services."

More information on New Yorkers for Accessible Health Care is available online at
www.cidny.org.

Michael Clifford/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NY