Issues: Health Care

Statement from State Senator Gustavo Rivera On $8 Billion MRT Waiver

"I commend Governor Cuomo for his relentless work in securing an agreement with the federal government that will allow our state to reinvest $8 billion into our healthcare system.  Not only will this funding be key in allowing our State to improve the quality and access of care for all New Yorkers, but it will also help create a more efficient healthcare system for our State's citizens. These dollars will be essential in repairing the economic strain many of our hospitals face and allow them to continue to provide care to the communities they serve.  This is truly a win for New York."  

February 13, 2014

Press Release: Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins On $8 Billion MRT Waiver

“I want to thank the Governor for pushing hard for this wavier and working with our federal elected officials to come to an agreement with the Federal Government that would allow New York to reinvest $8 billion in savings to help rebuild our health care system. This much needed money will help so many communities across the state, especially Brooklyn, which have been hurt by inadequate health care services. I congratulate the Senate Democratic Conference’s Brooklyn Delegation including the Dean of the Delegation - Senator Montgomery, Senator Dilan, Senator Parker and Senator Squadron, whose relentless fight to save Brooklyn’s hospitals has been bolstered by this good news.”

February 13, 2014

Senator Parker Recognizes February 7th as 'National Wear Red Day'

  (Brooklyn, NY) - Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) today urged New Yorkers to celebrate National Wear Red Day this Friday, February 7th.

February 7, 2014

Senator O'Brien, staff "Wear Red for Women"

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O'Brien and his district staff are all wearing shades of red today, joining thousands of people nationwide in observing "Wear Red for Women" Day, promoting awareness of the danger heart disease poses to women's health.

February 7, 2014

Independent Health will continue to cover Medicaid beneficiaries in Niagara County

Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) is pleased to announce that Independent Health has agreed to renew its contract with New York State to offer Medicaid Managed Care, known as MediSource, in Niagara County.

February 5, 2014

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House's Health Insurance Enrollment Day

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House is holding a Health Insurance Enrollment Day on Thursday, February 6!

Meet one-on-one with an application counselor to determine your eligibility for Medicaid, Child Health Plus or financial subsidies. Enroll in health insurance through the online marketplace --

February 6, 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Sen. Parker Implores President Obama for Capital Infusion for Brooklyn Hospitals via Medicaid Waiver

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Senator Kevin Parker (D 21) describes the magnitude of Brooklyn's health care crisis, its looming fiscal challenges, and requests of the President that Brooklyn receives its $10 billion in waiver money from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) which has not yet been granted. 

Please clink on the pdf link below to view the letter in its entirety. 

Letter to President Obama re CMS waiver monies for Brooklyn

January 27, 2014
January 24, 2014
January 27, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #4: Be A Hero. Donate Blood.

With the new year upon us, here’s an easy resolution to make and keep: Be a hero and donate blood.

My suggestion requires no special powers or gadgets, but you still may get to save a damsel (or even a Don) in distress.

In one hour – the time it takes the watch an “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” episode  – you can donate enough to be a superstar in the lives of up to three people.

Who are these recipients?

They’re fighting cancer. Most of the 1.6 million people diagnosed last year will need regular blood transfusions during their chemotherapy.

January 23, 2014

WABC 7 On Your Side: Health Exchange Problems with Empire Blue Cross

WABC 7's Nina Pineda reports on the continuing problems Empire Blue Cross / Blue Shield enrollees have been experiencing with actually receiving their proof of insurance and getting covered. Our office has been trying to assist constituents with the same problems and has gotten the State Attorney General's office involved.

January 21, 2014

Capital New York: A.G. Probes Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Over Health Exchange Complaints

Laura Nahmias reports in Capital New York:

New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman is investigating insurer Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield after complaints from customers who paid for the company’s plans on the state's health exchange, but never received proof they enrolled.


State Sen. Liz Krueger, a Democrat, said she alerted the attorney general’s office to a potential systemic problem with Empire’s plans after fielding complaints from her constituents and attempting to resolve them through direct talks with the company. “We realized that this had to be much bigger than the individual complaints we were getting,” Krueger said. “Nobody was answering the phones at Blue Cross/Blue Shield,” she said.

January 16, 2014

Senate Hearing Points Out Healthcare Exchange Trouble-spots

ALBANY, 01/13/14 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on a senate hearing regarding the implementation of the health insurance exchange (NY State of Health) as part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA):

“While New York has been doing a good job when compared with the federal exchange, a number of issues have been brought to my attention.  Individuals, sole proprietors, and small business owners have seen their policies cancelled, costs to obtain new policies have skyrocketed for some, and application counselors have been unable to provide assistance in several cases.

January 13, 2014


For the people of the North Country, the St. Lawrence Psych Center has been a “Center of Excellence” for more than 100 years.  With today’s announcement, we are ensuring it continues to play a central role in delivering that quality and compassionate care, and serving our community.



Six months ago, the state Office of Mental Health announced that it was transforming mental health services in Northern New York.  And for six months, members of this community—including clients, family members, employees and a far greater number of ordinary, concerned citizens—rallied, petitioned, organized and appealed for a better idea.

We set just three goals: maintaining inpatient mental health services in Northern New York; providing a stronger mental health safety net in our communities, and preserving and protecting critically needed local jobs.

Today, we achieved all three. With today’s announcement, we are assured that North Country families won’t have to endure an hours-long drive through dangerous winter storms to find appropriate care for our loved ones.

December 19, 2013

New website -- -- helps answer your health care questions!

There is a new website ( that contains useful, accessible information for consumers with questions about the Affordable Care Act, or health care in general. The website was created by, and is sponsored by, Consumer Reports, a non-partisan, non-profit organization which has a well-deserved reputation for impartiality, honesty and accuracy – and should reassure visitors that the information is reliable.

December 19, 2013


Funding to Strengthen Health Care System for Ft. Drum, Surrounding Communities 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $100,000 in special funding for the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO) to help strengthen the local health care system in the communities around Fort Drum and support the continued growth and expansion of the post.

“FDRHPO plays a vital role here in the North Country, supporting our troops and their loved ones by ensuring they have access to quality health care,” said Senator Ritchie.

“Quality health care is a big part of the puzzle when it comes to the continued growth of Fort Drum and the surrounding communities.  I’m pleased to be able to secure this funding, which represents an investment in the post and shows the state’s commitment to protecting and strengthening Fort Drum.”

FDRHPO is an agency that strengthens the North Country health care system for Fort Drum soldiers, their families and the surrounding civilian community by connecting the Military Treatment Facility with the regional health care system and evaluating, planning and strengthening the link between Fort Drum community members and quality health care in Northern New York.

December 18, 2013

Newsletter and Resources: What Federal Health Care Reform Means for New Yorkers

I know how confusing healthcare and insurance issues can be, and with reforms from the federal government’s 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) rolling out, things may be even more complicated as we “kick the tires” on this new system. I recently circulated a newsletter (also linked below), to provide an overview of ACA benefits including New York’s new Health Plan Marketplace and answers to some of the main questions my office has received.

In addition, I held a community forum in October with over 200 attendees to discuss New York’s Health Plan Marketplace. You can find links to the presentations our three speakers gave at the bottom of this page.

Sen. Krueger's Health Care Newsletter

Small Business Plans Overview

Health Plan Marketplace Overview

Help Applying for Plans

December 6, 2013

Senator Lee Zeldin Hosts Senior Golden Gathering

Senator Lee Zeldin (R, C, I—Shirley) hosted a Senior Golden Gathering event last week to bring free healthcare screenings and informational services to our community’s seniors and their families.

Despite the snowy weather, over thirty vendors representing everything from consumer protection to health and nutrition turned out to answer questions and provide demonstrations of their useful services. CVS of Shirley (pictured above with Senator Zeldin) was on hand to provide free flu shots to defend against the impending season.

November 20, 2013

Senator Serrano Joins Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal in an Important Community Forum to Discuss the Affordable Care Act

(Upper West Side, NY) – Senator José M. Serrano joined Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal for a community forum and informational session on the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). Designed to provide members of the community with pertinent information, the forum brought together a panel of experts to help explain the ACA and how it is being implemented in New York State.

November 8, 2013

Public Forum Announced

An opportunity for the public to discuss St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital’s proposed reduction in operating hours of the Emergency Department at the Cornwall Campus

Senator Bill Larkin and Assemblyman James Skoufis announced today that they will host a public forum on Tuesday, November 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Cornwall Central Middle School auditorium located at 122 Main Street in Cornwall.  The purpose of this forum is to discuss St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital’s request to the New York State Department of Health to reduce the operating hours of the emergency department at the Cornwall campus.  

November 6, 2013
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