Helgerson: It's Time to Fight Senate Health Care Proposal

NYAPRS Note: Emphasizing that “stakes have never been higher for American health care,” NYS Medicaid Director came out swinging yesterday at one of the 11 regional forums that Governor Cuomo had swiftly scheduled to educate and arouse public opinion about the devastating harm that will be caused by the Republican Senate’s healthcare proposal.
The presentations open with a power point detailing the potential damage to vulnerable New Yorkers who rely on the Medicaid program for their health and, in too many cases, their lives. Panelists then detail the impact on their particular area, followed by public testimony. NYAPRS has contributed several panelists at the forums, Doug Hovey at last night’s New Hartford and Mike Stoltz and me at today’s sessions on Long Island and Plattsburgh.

For more details about how the Senate’s proposal will harm members of our community, see “What The Senate Health Care Bill Could Mean For People With Mental Illness” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/senate-health-bill-mental-health_us_594aad2ae4b01cdedeffc694 and “Health Care Bill Could Boot People With Addiction Out of Treatment” at http://time.com/4829381/senate-health-care-bill-mental-health-insurance/. Here’re details about the remaining forums to be held later today and tomorrow.

June 27 (today)
University of Rochester Medical Center, School of Nursing, Evarts Lounge, 255 Crittenden Blvd, Rochester 10:00 am

Clinton Community College, Stafford Theater, 136 Clinton Point Dr, Plattsburgh 6:00 pm

Hostos Community College, Savoy Manor Building, 120 E. 149th Street, 2nd FL, Bronx at 6:00 pm

Charles B. Wang Center Auditorium, Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls Rd., Suite 302, Stony Brook at 6:00 pm

Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Gaylord Cary Meeting Room, Elm & Carlton Streets, Buffalo at 6:00 pm
June 28 (Wednesday)
Chittenango Public Library, 101 Falls Boulevard, Chittenango at 7:00 pm

UHS Binghamton General Hospital, Russell Community Room, 10-42 Mitchell Avenue, Binghamton 6:00 pm

NY Medicaid Director: It's Time to Fight Senate Health Care Proposal
By Jaclyn Cangro Spectrum News June 26, 2107

HUDSON, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo is sharing his thoughts on the Senate's health care bill by sending members of his administration to panels throughout the state.

State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson set the tone early during a panel in Hudson, saying the bill would be devastating to New Yorkers and "right now is the time to fight."

The state says six million New Yorkers receive Medicaid, and Helgerson believes $7 billion could be cut from the program over the next four years.

He says even if the Senate doesn't pass the bill, more work will need to be done, adding, "We're going to have to continue to be vigilant. Even if we win this week, which is still far from a sure conclusion, we're going to have to watch this very closely because the stakes have never been higher for American health care."

The Senate can only afford to lose two Republican votes and still pass the measure, but more than a handful of GOP senators have said they are unsure about the legislation.

Here in New York, the governor's administration has several more panels scheduled for this week.