New York Information
Capital District (NY) Chapter
PNHP of Central New York
Contact: Jen Muniak
Andrew D. Coates, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Dr. Andy Coates is president of Physicians for a National Health Program. Dr. Coates is chief of hospital medicine at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, New York, and an assistant professor of medicine and psychiatry at Albany Medical College. Board certified in internal medicine as well as hospice and palliative care medicine, Dr. Coates graduated from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Dr. Coates is a co-founder of the Capital District chapter of PNHP and founder of Single Payer New York. He previously served on the statewide executive board of the Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO. He provides commentary on WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
Oliver Fein, M.D.
Dr. Fein is a past president of PNHP. A general internist who is active in clinical practice, he is also professor of clinical medicine and clinical public health at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he serves as associate dean responsible for the Office of Affiliations and the Office of Global Health Education. Dr. Fein has advocated for an expanded role for primary care, for academic health centers in urban health care delivery systems, and for national health system reform. He was Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow during 1993-1994, when he worked in the office of Senate Democratic Majority Leader George Mitchell. He spent 17 years at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center developing community-based ambulatory care practices and the Division of General Medicine. He is chair of the NY Chapter of PNHP and immediate past vice president of the American Public Health Association.
Mary O’Brien, M.D.
Dr. O’Brien graduated from Harvard Medical School, trained at Columbia Presbyterian in internal medicine, and is double boarded in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine. Dr. O’Brien has practiced medicine in NYC for the past 30 years and is on the faculty at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. O’Brien is on the board of NY Metro chapter of PNHP and chairs the Media/Communications Committee. She has co-edited “10 Excellent Reasons for National Health Care,” a small pocket book which will be out in late July early August, 2008
Laura S. Boylan, M.D.
Dr. Laura S. Boylan is member of Physicians for a National Health Program, a non-profit research and education organization of 17,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine and practices at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and in Pennsylvania. She completed her medical training at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.
Elizabeth Rosenthal, M.D.
Dr. Rosenthal is a retired dermatologist who resides in Mamaroneck, NY (Westchester County). She comes from a family of doctors and went to NYU Medical, graduated in 1967 and did my postgraduate training at several different places including Syracuse, NY, Detroit, and Boston. She was in practice in Mamaroneck for 31 years and has also been on the volunteer faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine for 33 years where she supervised residents and students in the Pediatric Dermatology clinic.
Ayana Jordan is a fifth year MD/PhD student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Ayana had the pleasure to co-chair the past two student forums sponsored by PNHP entitled Medical Student Activism, Past, Present, and Future and medical student activism: Reforming Healthcare Through Student Action with participation from the American Student Medical Association, Student National Medical Association, Einstein Community Health Outreach (ECHO) free clinic and New York University’s free health clinic. Currently, Ayana serves as the president for the Einstein chapter of PNHP. She looks forward to continuing the work of building partnerships between communities of color, medical students and PNHP.
David Himmelstein, M.D.
Dr. David Himmelstein is professor in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, adjunct clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has served as chief of the division of social and community medicine at Cambridge Hospital.
Dr. Himmelstein has authored or co-authored more than 100 journal articles and three books, including widely cited studies of medical bankruptcy and the high administrative costs of the U.S. health care system. His 1984 study of patient dumping led to the enactment of EMTALA, the law that banned that practice.
A co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Himmelstein co-edits PNHP’s newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler.
Dr. Himmelstein received his medical degree from Columbia University and completed internal medicine training at Highland Hospital/University of California San Francisco and a fellowship in general internal medicine at Harvard.
Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., MPH
Dr. Steffie Woolhandler is a practicing primary care physician, professor in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, adjunct clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she co-directed the general internal medicine fellowship program and practiced primary care internal medicine at Cambridge Hospital.
Dr. Woolhandler earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University; her medical degree from Louisiana State University; and her master’s degree from the University of California. She worked in 1990-1991 as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health policy fellow at the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Congress.
Dr. Woolhandler is a frequent speaker and has written extensively on health policy, administrative overhead and the uninsured. She has authored more than 150 journal articles, reviews, chapters, and books on health policy. A co-founder and board member of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Woolhandler co-edits PNHP’s newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. David Himmelstein.
State Organizations Endorsing HR676
- Ithaca, NY
- Cortland County legislature, NY
- Ulster County, NY
Local Unions Endorsing HR676
- New York Professional Nurses Union, New York, NY
- Troy Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Troy, NY
- United University Professions, Local 2190 AFT, New York State United Teachers, Albany, NY
- Local 21 NABET/CWA, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET)/Communications Workers of America (CWA), Albany, NY
- 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, MD, DC, NY State, MANew York, NY
- PEF/encon Albany Steward Council (Public Employees Federation/encon) representing Professional, Scientific and Technical employees at the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.
- Local 1000, American Federation of Musicians (AFM), New York, NY
- Local 524, International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE), Glens Falls-Saratoga, NY
- Albany Central Federation of Labor, Albany, NY
- Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Albany NY
- Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA/RT), New York, NY
- District Council 37, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME)New York City, NY
- Theatrical Protective Union (TPU) Local One, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE), New York City, Westchester and Putnam Counties
- Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, Newburgh, NY
- Lodge 1145, IAM, Selkirk and DeWitt, NY
- Local 2334, AFT, Professional Staff Congress-CUNY, New York City, NY
- Local 1549, AFSCME, representing 19,000 clerical and administrative workers for the City ofNew York
- Local 1180, Communications Workers of America (CWA), New York, NY
- Retirees Association of District Council 37, AFSCME, New York, NY
- CIRSU, New York, NY
- Greater Glens Falls Central Labor Council, Glens Falls, NYWarren, Washington, Hamilton, and Northern Saratoga Counties
- Central New York Labor Council, Utica, NY
- Rochester and Vicinity Labor Council, Rochester, NY
- Rochester and Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation
- Transit Workers Union Local 264 (TWU)
- New York State Nurses Association
- Northeast Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, Plattsburgh, NY
- Capital District (NY) Area Labor Federation
- AFM Local 802, Association of Musicians of Greater New York
- International Union of Painters & Allied Trades District Council #4
New York State News
By W.T. “Bill” McKibben | The Buffalo News, Sept. 25, 2016
The Veterans Affairs health care system is America’s favorite political football. We love our vets and are quick to pick up on any failure to care for them or treat them well. We were all stunned by reports of vets dying while waiting to see a doctor. A closer look reveals that they were waiting to be accepted into the VA health care system and be assigned to a primary care doctor. The image of sick and dying vets already within the VA system waiting for care is simply false.
By Richard Weiskopf, M.D., Kaye Jaeger, R.N., and Joel Potash, M.D. | Syracuse.com, Sept. 28, 2016
A commentary published Sept. 14 ("How many are insured because of Obamacare? Good question") points out the challenge of assessing the Affordable Care Act's impact on closing the insurance gap. Focusing strictly on health "insurance" coverage obscures the crisis in healthcare access across the country that millions continue to live without access to needed health care.
By Elizabeth Rosenthal, M.D. | The New York Times, Aug. 25, 2016
How many times must it be demonstrated that health care cannot be treated like any other market commodity before our legislators get the point? This article once again confirms that affordable health care can’t be delivered using a private, for-profit system.
By Sharon R. Kahn, Ph.D. | The National Psychologist, July/Aug. 2016
Can you top this? “My client has PTSD and her insurance would only authorize 10 sessions.” Another adds: "My client has Major Depression and insurance will only authorize pharmacological treatment, no psychotherapy."
By Rebecca Mahn | The Doctor's Tablet Blog, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, June 16, 2016
There’s a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Now in my fourth year at Einstein, I am inspired by this ideal to fight for healthcare reform, specifically a single-payer national healthcare program.
By Andrea Sears | Public Service News, June 3, 2016
Dr. Oliver Fein, who chairs the New York Metro Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, said it would make the state a leader in providing health care coverage, "offering a pathway to universal coverage without costing more and guaranteeing access to health care for everyone."
By Oscar A. Marcilla and Marc Lavietes | The Times Ledger (Queens, N.Y.)
The Affordable Care Act, passed six years ago, expands access to health insurance but fails to limit rising costs or provide universal coverage. While some have benefited from the ACA, insurance companies continue to raise premiums and maintain soaring profits. The average deductible on all plans—$1,077 in 2015—discourages many from seeking care.
By Liza Featherstone | AM New York
The problem — for insured people like me — highlights what’s wrong with for-profit health insurance. The companies have little incentive to provide affordable health care. Medical bankruptcy and difficulties affording care are common even among people who have insurance, as we struggle with copays and deductibles, or go without care we need.
Herbert S. Strauss, M.D. | Times Union
All the major industrial countries in the world provide universal health care coverage for all their citizens without the use of for-profit insurance companies, and their per-person health care cost is a fraction of ours. Our own health care cost is rising annually beyond of inflation. Our present system is unsustainable.
By Richard Weiskopf, M.D. | Syracuse.com
Under the present system of multiple health insurers, a large percentage of of the money that private insurance companies collect in premiums is spend for administrative costs. Our current Medicare which covers the elderly is more efficient. A much lower percentage goes for administrative costs leaving more money to spend directly on health care.
Weill Cornell Medical College News
The award honors public health professionals who have made exceptional contributions to the field through innovative organizational work for the improvement of community health. Dr. Fein, who was recognized for lifetime achievements in healthcare advocacy and activism, received his award at the association's 143rd annual meeting on Nov. 3 in Chicago. ... In 2009, as president of Physicians for a National Health Program, he was invited to the White House Health Care Summit, where he advocated for single-payer national health reform.
By Dan Goldberg | Politico New York
Last week, New York City's health commissioner gathered her staff in their Long Island City headquarters.
By Andrew Cohen | News Long Island
LONG ISLAND, NY – Today is the 50th anniversary of Medicare, and the program’s advocates are using the occasion to push for a major expansion.
By Richard Gottfried | Lake Placid (N.Y.) News
States have long been the "laboratories of democracy," and New York can be a leader by enacting the New York Health Act state single-payer plan.
By Danielle Sanzone | The Record (Troy, N.Y.)
COHOES -- A local committee is working to raise more awareness about Medicare in the hopes that the program will continue into the next decades and expand it to include all American citizens.
By The Editorial Board | Lake Placid (N.Y.) News
Health insurance is going to cost a lot more for many Americans.
By Dan Goldberg | Capital New York
The state Assembly on Wednesday voted for a single-payer health bill, the first time in more than two decades the chamber has taken up the measure.
By James Bormley | The Legislative Gazette (Albany, N.Y.)
During a rally Tuesday in support of a universal health care bill, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried told supporters that Speaker Carl Heastie plans to let the chamber vote on the bill before the end of session.
By Laurence S. Jacobs, M.D. | Santa Fe New Mexican
Bipartisanship can work. The old flawed formula for physician reimbursement in Medicare (SGR) will finally be permanently canceled and replaced, so that physicians will no longer be looking at roughly 20 percent cuts in reimbursement every year, absent one-year congressional fixes.
By David Ray, M.D. | Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Medicare program, and the third year of the Affordable Care Act, what can we say about the state of America's health care? For one thing, this: While the United States has centers which offer some of the most sophisticated medical treatments in the world, there is unequal access both geographically and economically to that care.
By Derek Hawkins | Public News Service (New York)
NEW YORK - New York could save $45 billion a year in health care costs if it adopted a so-called "single-payer" insurance program.
By Rick Miller | Olean (N.Y.) Times Herald
OLEAN — The U.S. health care system is more costly and less effective than many other developed nations, a Chicago physician told members of the Cattaraugus County Healthy Liveable Communities Consortium on Thursday.
By Chris Kardish | Governing (Washington, D.C.)
There is perhaps no state lawmaker in the country who has pushed for single-payer health care with as much fidelity as New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried. Since 1992, he has introduced single-payer legislation every year, only to see his efforts fail to gain much traction. This year, Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat and head of the Assembly’s health committee, is hopeful, though he may be the only legislator in the country making a full push.
By Rod Watson | The Buffalo News
The spat between doctors and a health insurer over which anti-addiction drug patients can get raises again the fundamental health care question Americans answer one way, and the rest of the world answers another: Whom do you trust?
By Ali Hibbs | Metroland (Albany, N.Y.)
Eighty percent of medical costs associated with billing and insurance practices in the United States—approximately $375 billion—is squandered annually due to systemic inefficiency, according to a study released last month by a group of physicians and health policy researchers connected with Harvard Medical School, the University of California-San Francisco and the City University of New York School of Public Health, who attribute the staggering waste to the nation’s complex, multi-payer way of financing care.
By Darius Shahinfar | Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
As city treasurer in Albany, I am constantly reminded by our taxpayers that our property taxes need to be cut.
By Matthew D'Onofrio | The Legislative Gazette (Albany, N.Y.)
For two decades, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, has been calling on his fellow lawmakers to pass legislation that would provide universal health care for all New Yorkers.
By Katie Gibas | Time Warner Cable News
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- What if you didn't have to worry about insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays when it comes to your health care? That's what some New York lawmakers are proposing with the New York Health Act.
By Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, M.D. | Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
Gov. Peter Shumlin wanted to enact a single-payer system in Vermont, but it soon became clear to him that he could not do it without federal support. The comprehensive federal waivers that would be required, as well as lifting Employee Retirement Income Security Act restrictions, would not be forthcoming from Congress. Therefore the label “single payer” was removed from the legislation and the bill was completely rewritten.
By Irina Ivanova | Crain's New York Business
The Affordable Care Act has made an unwieldy system of health insurance even more complicated, and should be replaced with a centralized, tax-funded health care system.
By Jessica Bauer Walker | The Buffalo News
Recently, hearings were held in Buffalo on the New York Health act, legislation that would provide universal, equitable health insurance for all New Yorkers. Physicians, medical students, nurses, community health workers, leaders from labor and community-based organizations and patients came out to testify.
By Elizabeth Rosenthal, M.D. | The Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.)
Although the Affordable Care Act has made improvements in our health-care system by expanding access and curbing the most abusive practices of the health insurance industry, it does not address the core problems with our current health-care system.
By Henry Davis | Buffalo News
One patient went overseas for an operation to avoid paying high out-of-pocket costs here.
By Stan Gutelius, M.D. | Auburn (N.Y.) Citizen
Good news! Now that we are in that time of year when you should be comparing your medical insurance policy with other possible policies, I can offer you the one you have been looking for.
By Tom Ellis | The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, N.Y.)
In her Oct. 30 column, “GE breaks its promise to retirees,” Sara Foss commented on General Electric’s sudden alteration of its long-established health care program for GE retirees, many of who are quite elderly and who thought GE had promised benefits that are now about to be dropped. She also noted that today, few private-sector workers can expect to have lifetime employee-sponsored health insurance.
By Matthew Dondiego | The Legislative Gazette (Albany, N.Y.)
During a rally Wednesday on the Capitol's Million Dollar Staircase in support of single-payer health care reform, the state's Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus formally announced its support for the New York Health bill.
By Kelly Fay | The Legislative Gazette (Albany, N.Y.)
Lawmakers, patients and health providers are urging the Legislature to pass a bill they say would provide every New Yorker with the basic human right to health care. Advocates rallied outside the Capitol Tuesday demanding the state adopt a single-payer system of health insurance and put "patients before profits."
By David Sims | The Chief-Leader (New York)
The Affordable Care Act’s changes to the nation’s health-care business mean good and bad things for organized labor, but a Feb. 27 LaborPress event on its impact focused more on pushing for a single-payer system in the state to relieve the increased pressure on unions.
By Sara Foss | The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, N.Y.)
The other night I attended a debate at The Linda in Albany, WAMC’s performing arts studio, on whether the U.S. should adopt a single-payer health care system.