1199SEIU Healthcare Workers, Sen. Kennedy and Assemblyman Dilan Urge Passage of the Reinvest in NY Healthcare ActMay 9, 2022
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HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND LAWMAKERS SAY: PASS THE REINVEST IN NY TO KEEP VITAL HEALTHCARE DOLLARS HERE -- AND NOT IN THE POCKETS OF OUT-OF-STATE INSURANCE COMPANY SHAREHOLDERS.
ALBANY, NY (May 9, 2022) -- 1199SEIU healthcare workers – joined by State Senator Tim Kennedy, and Assemblyman Erik Dilan and a host of other lawmakers – today called for passage of the Reinvest in NY Healthcare Act to keep healthcare dollars in New York, instead of lining the pockets of insurance companies.
Speaking from the Million Dollar Staircase in the Capitol Building, the lawmakers said that the past two and a half years have been devastating to the health and financial wellbeing of far too many New Yorkers.
The Reinvest in NY Healthcare Act (S8470-A9519) would keep healthcare dollars in New York by putting a 9.63% tax on profit taken out of state by health insurance companies. These funds would be deposited into a fund for distressed providers and reinvested into frontline care.
“By passing this important policy, we’d be guaranteeing that critical healthcare dollars stay in New York as we rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic - and that if out-of-state health insurers choose to take those profits elsewhere, they’re going to pay a price," Senator Tim Kennedy said.
"Our healthcare institutions remained stretched thin, and these funds collected would be reinvested directly into frontline care,” Kennedy added. “I stand with 1199SEIU and Assemblymember Dilan in urging the legislature to advance this common-sense reform."
Hospitals and other healthcare systems across New York have made massive investments and gut-wrenching sacrifices to fight COVID — while the biggest insurers are taking the COVID crisis to the bank. New York’s top ten insurers made more than $40 billion in profits in 2021.
“Some 15.2% of the Sullivan County population, where I live and work, is living below the poverty line. That’s higher than the national average of 12.3%,” said Sam Suarez of the Garnet Health Medical Center at the Catskills campus in Harris, near Monticello.
“On the other hand, just last year, New York’s top ten insurance corporations made more than $40 billion in profits,” he added. “That’s astounding to me. While we struggled through COVID, they made record profits. Those profits should be taxed in New York and used to strengthen healthcare in the communities that need it most.”
Also at the event were Senators John Liu, Roxanne Persaud, Robert Jackson and Peter Harckham, and Assemblymembers Vivian Cook, Gary Pretlow, Jaime Williams, Thomas Abinanti and Jonathan Jacobson.
For more information, visit https://healthcareeducationproject.org/putpatientsfirst/
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in New York and nationwide. We represent over 450,000 total members throughout New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and Washington, D.C. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.