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Activists Rally For Universal Health Care Bill to Pass the State Senate

John Smith/WAER News

  Syracuse activists feel they’re gaining momentum after the State Assembly passed the New York Health Act.  The vote Wednesday was 90 to 47.  They hope the legislation will pave the way for everyone in New York State to someday have equal access to health care.  The act aims to provide universal healthcare by eliminating insurance co-pays, premiums, deductibles or provider networks.

Local Doctor Michael Lax says this could be a step towards re-configuring the health care system in a positive way.  

“The structure that Healthy New York is talking about really simplifies things and it really makes pretty much any doctor accessible to any patient. So it really kind of makes care accessible in a pretty profound kind of way that is different from how the system is organized now. To me it seems so rational.”  

Lax was one of two Doctors who joined nurses and other community activists downtown Thursday to show their support for the bill.  They spoke about their desire for patients to receive the care they need at an affordable cost. Campaign for New York Health local Spokesperson Ursula Rozum is optimistic the Republican Majority of the State Senate will also support the New York Health Act. Perhaps with a little nudging.

Credit John Smith/WAER News
Spokesperson Ursula Rozum says the bill will be passed in the future if there is no success this time around.

  “That’s going to be our next step, is to really work on getting it to pass in the senate. As you can see here, these folks have been working over 20 years to pass this in New York. Now that we’ve passed it in the assembly, we are determined to make sure it passes in both houses and that the governor approves it. If not this year, then in the coming years.”

Wednesday’s vote by the State Assembly marked the first time in 24 years the body actually brought the legislation to the floor for a vote.

Credit John Smith/WAER News
Retired Nurse Diane Dwire supports the Universal Health Care bill.


John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.