Gianaris: Not Voting On Health Exchange ‘Foolish’

Michael Gianaris

September 13, 2011

State of Politics wrote about Senator Gianaris' comments regarding the healthcare exchange from his interview on "The Capitol Pressroom." Senator Gianaris believes that we should not refuse large amounts of federal aid that would benefit New Yorkers simply for political reasons.

Not voting on a measure that would create a health-insurance exchange in New York is “foolish” Sen. Michael Gianaris told Susan Arbetter earlier today.

Gianaris, who has increasingly become the public face of the Senate Democratic Conference, blamed Senate Republicans for obstructing the bill.

They have refused to bring this up. It’s a simple decision; clear up the vote pass the damn thing. I don’t know what the hold up is. Everyone realizes there’s no rational basis for holding up on this thing To make a symbolic statement against the president and cost New York state millions of dollars is foolish.

The measure would create a marketplace exchange that ostensibly would bring down insurance rates and free up millions of dollars in federal aid to the state. Conservative Republicans in the state Senate have balked at the meausure because it is part of the controversial health-care law pushed by President Obama.

In private and in public, the more conservative members of the GOP conference, including Sen. Greg Ball, have derided it as helping enact “Obamacare” — the pejorative used by conservatives for the law.

Gianaris added that he didn’t blame Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not being out front of the issue or making a concerted effort to push for a special session to the pass the legislation. And, to be fair, the Cuomo has had his hands full with the multiple tropical storms blowing through upstate New York.

“The Senate Republicans have obstructed this and refused to bring it to the floor,” he said.

Read the full article here.