Panel will discuss single-payer proposal

Health Care Forum To Take Place At College

Progressive East End Reformers, a chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network, will hold a health care forum on Saturday, February 9, from 1 to 4 PM at Stony Brook Southampton campus.

More than 20 organizations will come together to focus on the New York Health Act, a single-payer health care system that would cover all New York residents. The NYHA, which was first introduced in 1992, has been passed by the state Assembly four years in a row but has failed to clear the Senate. Supporters believe that now that the upper chamber has a Democratic majority, chances for the bill’s passage have improved, although it remains to be seen whether Governor Andrew Cuomo would sign it into law.

Essentially, the NYHA would create a state-sponsored health care plan that would be open to all state residents and be funded through the state income tax system. It would end the practice of employer-provided healthcare and allow patients to see the healthcare providers of their choice, who would then negotiate directly with the state for reimbursements.

Although single-payer systems have often been criticized for being too expensive, supporters of the New York system estimate that it could save up to $45 billion in state healthcare costs.

The event will feature a moderated panel discussion with Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Martha Livingston, chairwoman of the Public Health Department at SUNY Old Westbury; Robert Chaloner, CEO of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital; and other experts in the field. The panel will be moderated by PEER member Cheryl Cashin, a health economist and managing director at Results for Development Institute.

Both prior to and after the moderated panel, attendees will be invited to fill out a short health care survey for the Campaign for New York Health and participate in other activities.

sjkotz@indyeastend.com