Lansing Village Board Debates Position on NY Health Act | Lansing
The New York Health Act is a nationwide push to establish a payer health system that covers every New Yorker. The desire to survive universal health care has increased sharply due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Lansing Board of Trustees has no actual ability to vote for or against the law, as New York State residents would individually vote for or against the law. However, if desired, the board could pass a memorandum in support of the New York Health Act. The move would be largely symbolic, but it would send a message to the residents of Lansing about the location of the village.
To shed light on the nuances of the Health Act, the Board of Directors invited Dr. Elliot Rubenstein and Dr. Martin Stallone attended his meeting on June 7th to give their views on the matter. Both were against a permit. At previous meetings, the curators invited health law advocates to speak.
Stallone expressed concern about the power the state government would have.
“A government-run payer system, funded by the taxpayer with all the rules dictated by the government, is in some ways worrying depending on how we work with the state government today,” he said. “Much of my concern comes from the ability to meet our real costs, many of which are government imposed … so I fear that health care providers would struggle with real costs to actually be solvent in the long run. “
He was also skeptical of the ambiguity of the wording throughout the act.
“I would say there are many questions and I have great doubts … if the doubts are true, we as a community would not be well served if this law is passed,” he said.
Mayor-elect Ronny Hardaway had similar concerns and said, “Dr. Stallone was right that the ambiguity is breathtaking … the details aren’t there. “
Rubenstein criticized that the law would abolish or severely restrict Medicaid and employer insurance.
“One of the things I think you really need to consider is getting rid of employer insurance, which most people love and want and have,” he said. “In order to attract employees, you have to give them that and they usually accept that.”
Board of Trustees Carolyn Greenwald has managed to a point in contradicting the arguments of both doctors as both were against the act.
“As for the abolition of employer insurance, that’s because everyone would have insurance, so it doesn’t have to be through the employer,” Greenwald said. “In terms of access, a good million New Yorkers currently have no access to health insurance at all, and many of them are hungry for it. So it would increase for these millions of people. “
Trustee Simon Moll questioned why the board was discussing this matter at all, given how little influence they had on it.
“I personally support the Health Act, but I think it is outside the scope of what we should do in the village because it is a problem that does not affect the village directly,” said Moll. “I’m looking through the agenda for tonight and that will be the item on the agenda that we’ve spent most of our time on so far, it has no direct impact on the village.”
Hardaway said he just hoped to start a discussion on the board.
“We don’t necessarily have to pass a resolution, but I think it’s important that we have these discussions,” he said. “We’re not just busy keeping the village going, we’re also setting a good example.”
It was decided that the Trustees would refrain from voting for or against the law. Hardaway officially presented the resolution, but said that someone else could bring it up again at a different point if she so chose.