A People’s Recovery: Healthcare

On the The Fight for a People’s Recovery Town Hall Wednesday night we were all encouraged to tell our healthcare stories.

My story is nowhere near as terrible as what many have experienced but it causes me great stress and worry for right now and the future. And my story is not unique.

Last July I was laid off and had to pay COBRA for health insurance. It was incredibly expensive but I was able to keep my doctors. In 2020,

I switched to an ACA plan which was equally as expensive as COBRA but my COBRA plan was dropping my doctors so I felt I had no choice.

I am healthy but feared not having insurance especially as we started hearing about. Coronavirus. I am fortunate to have some savings to use to pay for healthcare.

But most people don’t have savings and are living paycheck to paycheck. And now millions of people have no income.

On Wednesday 95 New Yorkers joined The Fight for a People’s Recovery Town Hall focused on healthcare. We listened to New York ICU nurse Michelle talk about her experience in the ICU during the pandemic with both her parents sick with Coronavirus. She said healthcare workers are doing all they can but she would not “mince words” our system is “crappy.”

Going on to say, “The Bronx did not have enough healthcare funding, equipment, workers, protections before the pandemic. We need safe staffing protection, we need more testing or this is going to happen again”

And this heartbreaking statement, “People are doing the best they can but they are being left not only broke but broken”

Michelle is broke as is her Dad who is an MTA worker. These are heros, essential workers who take care of us! She spoke of the need to cancel rent and for Medicare for all.

As Michelle was speaking, in the Zoom chat someone wrote, “rather than clap and bang pots at 7pm every night call your state legislators to pass the New York Health Act!”

If the New York Health Act had been enacted years ago we would have been better prepared and likely have had less deaths from Coronavirus. As we head into recovery, please call your state legislators to demand they make it a priority in 2020-ASAP! More information on this link https://www.nyhcampaign.org/

I appreciate that both my state legislators, Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Catherine Nolan support the New York Health Act but I ask them to please make it an urgent priority right now and get it done for all New Yorkers ASAP!

And as paying rent and healthcare inextricably connected, l ask Assembly Member Catherine Nolan to please sign on as a cosponsor the Assembly’s Cancel Rent bill (A10224A) No one should have to choose between housing and healthcare. No one should have to be without both in a time of crisis or ever.

Later in the town hall, Michelle spoke again this time joined by her Mom who talked about her hero daughter; how ridiculously hard getting tested and treated for Coronavirus is; nurse to patient ratio; being safe at work so her daughter could protect herself, patients, coworkers; and the cost of Coronavirus care which is at least their full stimulus check.

Michelle’s closing words were this plea, “we have to fight back, fight for yourself and fight for others — call your legislators”

At the federal level we must to tell our congressional delegation to fight for a People’s Recover in stimulus four. Specifically related to healthcare we need:

➡️ a nationally coordinated COVID-19 testing program, and free access to testing, treatment, and future vaccines, regardless of a person’s ability to pay or insurance status.

➡️ more federal money for all Medicaid services and beneficiaries, including those added after the Affordable Care Act was passed.

➡️ our federal government to ensure frontline workers have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) without having to ration equipment and put themselves at risk of exposure.

➡️ pass Emergency Medicare for All

Please make the calls. All information you need is here: https://www.empirestateindivisible.org/actionhub.html

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