(ALBANY, NY) Lawmakers from the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus and New York Health Campaign held a press conference today to announce the release of a new report on health care and racial equity and to call on the Legislature to pass and implement the End of Medical Debt and New York Health Act bills (A6058/S5474) before the close of session of 2022.
The report, titled Healthcare and Racial Justice: Systemic Change Is Needed for a More Equitable Health System, compiles national and New York State data to illustrate that access to healthcare is an issue of equity. critical race and how systemic solutions like a universal single-payer health plan system will dramatically improve health care access and health outcomes for all. The report found that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have been disproportionately harmed by COVID-19 due to unequal ability to access affordable, quality health care and, long before the onset of the pandemic, were more likely than whites to be uninsured and struggling with medical costs.
“The New York State Constitution directs me, as an elected official, to work to protect and promote the health of the residents of our State. That’s why I’m a proud co-sponsor of the New York Health Act. As Chairman of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, I know it is imperative that we pass this bill that will ensure that the most vulnerable New Yorkers have access to health services that will provide support. substantial to children and families, especially in Black, Latino, Asian and Indigenous communities. said Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, chair of the NYS BPHA Legislative Caucus.
“If we are to effectively address the racial inequities that are prevalent in our health care system, we must dramatically change the way we provide health care to New Yorkers,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “As the New York Health Campaign’s new report further underscores, it is critical that we pass New York’s health care law to ensure comprehensive health care coverage for all New Yorkers and, to In this way, advancing the needle to eliminate our de facto two-tier system of care and truly improve health outcomes for our state as a whole.
Senator Luis Sepúlveda said, “We need to pass the New York Health Act. It is a question of social justice, we can clearly see to what extent disadvantaged communities are those who pay the highest price for inequalities. Latinos, blacks, women, it is always the same groups of people who must bear the burden of the needs and the lack of services. In this case, we are talking about a fundamental right: health. In study after study, we see how prevention and health coverage have a positive effect in our communities and in the lives of every human being. However, we must also see how, study after study, it is the vulnerable communities who suffer the most from not being covered, from not being able to pay for health insurance and in the specific case of the studies that concern us here, it is they who have the most economic debt for the simple fact of wanting to take care of their health. I support this initiative and I will mobilize to pass the New York Health Act”
“As the New York Health Campaign’s recently released report makes clear, our state’s health care system must prioritize BIPOC individuals who disproportionately lack access to essential services. By providing comprehensive health coverage to all New Yorkers, the New York Health Act will improve health outcomes in all communities. I am proud to support this bill and to advocate for equitable solutions to systemic health care issues during this session. Without fundamental changes to our health insurance system, we cannot provide health care as a right to every New Yorker,” said Senator Jeremy Cooney.
“With the impending cancellation of Roe Vs. Wade, New York needs to be a state of access and refuge for anyone in need of health care and who needs to see a provider here. This makes the adoption of New York’s health law and access to single-payer health care more critical than ever, because it is communities of color who will disproportionately suffer these consequences the most. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus to make it clear that single-payer health care is a racial justice imperative and that we need to embrace it this session,” said Assembly Member Jessica González- Rojas.
“As a black mother, I know all too well the barriers that so many women like me face, especially when it comes to maternal health care in this state and this country in general. BIPOC communities struggle daily against our health insurance system for basic care. It is imperative to put an end to medical debt and call on the state to establish universal health care. It is truly an injustice that so many people of color, economically disadvantaged families, and immigrant populations suffer from inadequate health care due to lack of insurance and medical care debt. It is high time to bring humanity into the health policies of our system and absolve medical debt today. Health is a human right. said Assembly Member Stefani Zinerman.