I want to make you aware of two new laws that were recently signed that will help make health insurance more accessible for New York residents. I supported and voted for both of these measures during this year’s Senate session to help make health insurance more affordable for both families and young adults as our state recovers from the current economic crisis.
Yesterday, New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahan held an educational forum at the Liberty Elementary School in Valley Cottage to mark the start of National Immunization Awareness Month. The Senator used the forum to remind parents getting their children ready for school, sending a student to college, healthcare-workers and seniors about the importance of keeping vaccinations update.
I am very unhappy to report that Governor Paterson has secret plans to spend $140 million of federal stimulus money to give $200 per child “back to school” grants to welfare and food stamp recipients. The new welfare give-away reportedly was detailed in a secret memo from the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance.
I’m very pleased that the Senate has passed the most significant, sweeping legislative reforms in its history. The beneficiaries of those changes are the people of this state. As result, the Senate will be more open, transparent and accountable.
Each and every member of the Senate will now be empowered by these reforms. Every Senator will be treated fairly and given equitable resources to ensure they can effectively represent their constituents.
The days of legislative leaders dominating everything that happens in Albany is over.
I am pleased to let you know that a recent report, “Transforming New York’s Public Health Insurance Programs: Expanding Access, Improving Quality and Controlling Costs,” cites how New York’s Medicaid program has been reformed through the reduction of inpatient rates, investment in primary and preventive care and ambulatory care services, and by providing incentives to practitioners who work in medically underserved areas and meet patient-centered medical home standards that advance integrated and coordinated care.
After presenting South Orangetown Schools Superintendent Kenneth Mitchellwith the New York State Senate Liberty Award, the state's highest honor,Senator Thomas P. Morahan and Mitchell listen intently as South OrangetownMiddle School student government co-presidents (l-r) Zoe Ferranti andYvonne Cheng thank Dr. Mitchell for keeping the students and staff during arecent "code red" incident involving a gunman.
With a very short time left in the 2009 regular legislative session, I have joined a bipartisan group of Senators to call for the enactment of real rules reforms that would truly end the dysfunction that has caused the public to lose confidence in the state Legislature by increasing government openness, accountability and fairness.