Though we are divided on many issues, some should enjoy bipartisan support: stimulating our state economy, common-sense gun laws, fighting against climate change and access to health care.
The pandemic has made it even more clear that health insurance should not be tied to employment: millions have lost their health insurance along with their jobs. (See the Apr. 14-Apr. 20 Northern Westchester Examiner story about the Yorktown school bus drivers’ plight). Asking businesses to provide health insurance puts them at a major disadvantage in the global economy and threatens their survival in a recession. Having health insurance provided by for-profit corporations (the U.S. is unique in this in the developed world) leads to million-dollar salaries for hospital and drug company executives and the cost of drugs and health insurance spiraling out of control. In Yorktown, the cost to provide family coverage for just one town employee rose from $23,115 in 2016 to $28,953 in 2019; the employee contribution also went up 25 percent, by $1,460.
We could stimulate our state economy by reducing the health insurance burden on New York businesses. We need leaders with the foresight and the courage to tackle tough problems such as health insurance.
Our president is trying to take away our health insurance (without a plan to replace it); the Republican candidates support our current for-profit insurance system. I am voting for Pete Harckham for state Senate and Stephanie Keegan for state Assembly because they believe access to health care is a human right and that our broken health insurance system – a burden on business – needs fixing.