New York’s largest single-issue grassroots business coalition – the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care – honored Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) as 2005 Senator of the Year at a local event on Presidents' Day. The award is based on his unyielding support of affordable health care and dedication to keeping health insurance affordable for New York’s small businesses and sole proprietors. The coalition presented the award in front of members of the South Central Action Council convened at the Holiday Inn in Oneonta for their legislative luncheon.
"The senator continues to support the idea of affordable health insurance for New York’s small
business community through his opposition to health insurance mandates, or legislation that requires
employers to pay for costly or redundant treatments or services in every package, ultimately increasing health insurance costs," said Pamela Finch, director of public relations for the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care. "As chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, Senator Seward has remained steadfast in his commitment to our cause, believing that everyone should have access to basic, affordable health insurance."
"My efforts to rein in the cost of health insurance for our state's employers and ensure that workers and business owners have available, affordable insurance will continue this session as the senate Republican majority focuses on the needs of small businesses," Seward said. "It is an honor to accept this award. I look forward to continuing to work with the small businesses of the state and I salute the alliance for its untiring advocacy for business owners."
Making the awards presentation on behalf of Alliance Chair Jeff Leland was Rob Robinson, CEO of The Otsego County Chamber and a member of the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care Board of Directors.
Senator Seward was selected for the honor, based on a record of four consecutive "A" grades in the Employer Alliance’s annual legislative report card. The report card offers an annual, in-depth evaluation of every state lawmaker’s voting and bill introduction record on issues pertaining to affordable health insurance, basing a final grade on the legislator’s overall commitment to the issue.
"Senator Seward has shown time and time again that he truly understands plight of New York’s sole
proprietors and small businesses when it comes t o the need for affordable health insurance," Robinson said. "As chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, Senator Seward is not afraid to take action to give more New Yorkers access to basic, affordable health insurance coverage."
The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is a grassroots coalition with 2,500 members representing over 200,000 working New Yorkers. Members oppose the passage of health insurance mandates that increase costs and make it harder for many working New Yorkers to purchase basic coverage.