Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Health care

Health care

  • How New York Must Build Back a Better Primary Care System


    Mayor Adams gets health care (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    If you spotted a nickel on the ground, would you stop to pick it up? Probably not—it seems too small, too insignificant. Why bother?

    But that small amount is how we value primary care within the context of our whole health care system. It is estimated that only5–7

  • Winning the Public Health Recovery from Covid

    Mayor Adams visits health care workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    In its battle against COVID-19, New York City, even under a notably disorganized mayor, arrived at an impressive level of health organization. As may be recalled, Mayor de Blasio switched the lead role in the covid fight to Health + Hospitals, the city’s public hospital system, from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), which retained major responsibilities but not its usual lead position in epidemics. It is to the credit of both agencies that, under this forced and

  • We’re Assembly Members, Healthcare Experts, Women of Color, Mothers, and Fed Up: It’s Time to Pass the New York Health Act

    "Healthcare is a right" (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The fact is, New York’s profit-driven health-care system continues to fail marginalized communities like those we represent in the State Legislature. As a matter of racial and gender justice, we must finally pass single-payer health care this state legislative session.

    Before we were elected to office, we each worked in or around New York’s health-care system – Assemblymember Reyes as an oncology nurse, Assemblymember Forrest as a maternal-child health nurse,

  • A Stronger Social Safety Net in the Next New York City Budget

    Getting local help (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The COVID-19 pandemic revealed glaring gaps and limitations in New York City’s social safety net, leaving many low-income families struggling to meet basic needs. As the city rebuilds from the pandemic’s destructive economic and health consequences, investing in social services should be at the core of our recovery plan. Moreover, it will be crucial to invest in the community-based organizations (CBOs) that help connect communities to these services.

    New York's Home Care System is on the Verge of Collapse; It Can Be Fixed in the State Budget

    A rally for Fair Pay for Home Care (photo: @JFREJNYC)

    For people with disabilities and older New Yorkers, home care is the lifeline that enables them to stay in their homes and lead independent lives. Right now, the home care sector faces an alarming workforce crisis, jeopardizing the availability of at-home assistance and community living that enable people with disabilities and older New Yorkers to live their lives with dignity.

    We are facing a growing demand to increase the home care workforce. While agencies

  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Gustavo Rivera on Crunch-Time State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)

    March 30, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Gustavo Rivera on State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat and chair of the Senate health committee, joined the show to discuss final state budget negotiations, touching on a variety of key issues, as well as the overarching process, Mayor Adams' Albany agenda, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the

  • New York Leaders Must Not Let Health Insurance Companies Coopt Patient Protection Law

    Seeking health care (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    In 2014, New York became the first state toenact a law addressing surprise medical bills. Congress followed suit in 2020 with the

  • Time for New York to Act: Everyone Deserves Quality Health Care, No Matter Their Immigration Status

    Avoiding the emergency room (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Mateo first came to the United States to be a caregiver for his terminally ill brother, who had cancer. Shortly after his brother passed away, Mateo went to a regular doctor’s check-up. He had not been feeling well lately. After further tests, doctors determined that his kidneys were failing. Since then, Mateo has been reliant on hemodialysis, a treatment intended to help a patient with kidney failure survive while they wait for a transplant.

    New York Needs to Protect Medicaid Members in the State Budget

    Good health care is essential (photo: Don Pollard/Governor’s Office)

    More than 5.5 million New Yorkers rely on Medicaid managed care health plans for their care. Many of these members are among the state’s most at-risk residents, with multiple health conditions that require coordination of numerous services. This includes both physical health and mental health care, long-term services and supports, as well as help coordinating social services, such as housing, employment, education, and food access. They often rely on Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC) and other

  • This International Women’s Day, Let's Commit to Building a New York Economy That Works for Women

    Ana Maria Archila, the author (photo: Claudio Papapietro)

    It is said that International Women’s Day, which we celebrate today, March 8, started in 1857 when a group of women garment and textile workers marched in New York City for better wages and working conditions. Though this origin story is probably a myth — in fact, Women’s Day originated with a suffragist march through Manhattan six decades later — its popularity

  • I Had A No-Cost Childbirth, Other New York Moms Should Be Able To Do The Same

    A new mom (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)

    When I had my first child, I couldn’t believe how expensive it was to give birth. Thankfully, I had no complications, but the bills related to my brief hospital stay added up and compounded the financial strain of caring for my new baby.

    Eighteen years later, I was pregnant with my third child and worried that the costs would again be too high for me to afford. But this time, I was able to participate in the SEIU 32BJ Health Fund’s Maternity Care Program in partnership

  • History Demonstrates That Diversity Is the Future of Medicine

    Health care workers on the front lines (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    As we celebrate Black History Month, I often reminisce on the saying, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." As a cardiologist,Vivien Thomas is one of the many African-American giants whose shoulders I’m privileged to stand on. To me, he is a pillar of cardiac surgery, a master anatomist, an exemplary scientist,

  • California’s Moving to Expand Health Coverage to Immigrants; What About New York?

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    Health care in New York (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a $2.7 billion expansion to his state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, in his state budget proposal. This transformative policy would extend to all immigrants, regardless of their status, covering an estimated 700,000 individuals. As California moves forward to expand immigrants’ access to health care,

  • How Health Care, Tech, and the New Federal Infrastructure Law Must Connect

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    Getting health help through infrastructure (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    President Biden and Congress took a significant step in shoring up access to health care by enacting the infrastructure bill.

    The COVID-19 crisis shined a spotlight on broadband inequity and its impact on access to health-care services. While our country leapt forward on digital health, some of the neighborhoods and families who need it most were left out.

    In July 2020, EmblemHealth surveyed New Yorkers and found nearly one-third of Black-led and almost

  • Removing Obstacles to Gender-Affirming Care Will Help New York End the HIV Epidemic

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    An affirmation of transgender rights (photo: Don Pollard/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    World AIDS Day is an opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, while recommitting ourselves to Ending the Epidemic once and for all. While we have come a long way since the 1980s, some communities have been left behind. Ending the Epidemic will require a sustained focus on populations placed at highest risk, particularly people of transgender experience.

    Recent finding shows that...

  • Amid Rising Overdose Deaths, Hochul Urged to End Two-Tiered Addiction Treatment System in New York

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    Then-Gov. Cuomo signs legislation (photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

    In the aftermath of the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in New York State in a single year, advocates and substance use treatment providers are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to sign what they call a crucial piece of legislation to reverse the trend. Without the new governor’s signature, they say, the state’s recently-established two-tiered substance use treatment system, with greater barriers to access for lower-income New Yorkers, will continue and

  • Community Hospitals are a Lifeline for New Yorkers. Now They Need Their Own Rescue

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    Local health care is key (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    When COVID-19 struck 15 months ago, where did those who became infected and seriously ill go? To their nearest hospital. 

    Hospitals quickly became inundated with patients, and healthcare workers worked around the clock to save tens of thousands of lives. ICU beds filled up, and there was heavy demand on a limited number of ventilators.  

    While all hospitals were impacted, it was New York’s most vulnerable communities – and the hospitals that serve them

  • Primary Voters Must Consider Public Health in the Voting Booth

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    Vaccination (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    For the first time in more than a year, New Yorkers are starting to see a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. The city is finally leaping toward the promised “new normal” as basketball fans flood arenas and restaurant patrons spill into the streets with fewer worries about masking up and keeping distance. When our next mayor and City Council take office in January, we’re optimistic that the covid pandemic will be truly behind us.

    But for many New Yorkers, the health

  • We Must Rebuild Our Health-Care Infrastructure to Care for Our Seniors

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    Hospital workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The current process to secure a COVID-19 vaccine is, to put it frankly, a logistical nightmare. Appointments have been cancelled by testing sites due to supply shortages, and vaccines were frequently being defrosted and then thrown out due to missed appointments and limited eligibility criteria. This was expected.

    Contributing to the problems with vaccine distribution is the inaccessibility for seniors, especially in parts of eastern Queens. Successful vaccination

  • With More Than 1 Million Uninsured, New York Needs Immediate Comprehensive Health-Care for All

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    Health care push (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The pandemic has been raging throughout New York for nearly a year, killing tens of thousands of our neighbors and dramatically altering every New Yorker’s life. None of us have been untouched by this deadly virus.

    Throughout this year, the critical need for access to health care has become more clear than ever. So too have the gaping inequities across our state. And, while Governor Cuomo has claimed to make confronting the pandemic his number one priority, he has ...

  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Discuss Addressing City’s Health Care Gaps After Covid

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    Top (l-r): Carlos Menchaca, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Loree Sutton, Maya Wiley,
    Bottom (l-r): Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, Andrew Yang

    Eleven Democratic candidates for mayor appeared at a virtual forum on Tuesday focused on how they would shape health policy to be more equitable in New York City, especially amidst and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the city’s health care infrastructure under considerable strain and has had a starkly unequal racial impact. The pandemic has thrust the issues of

  • Mend the Health Care Safety Net for LGBTQ New Yorkers

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    The NYC LGBT Community Center (photo: LGBT Community Center)

    LGBTQ New Yorkers are facing a unique and urgent health care challenge. We already experience significant health disparities, and as a result of COVID-19, the organizations that exist to address those disparities statewide are hanging by a thread. Lawmakers have worked with the community for years to ensure these organizations can serve the nearly 1 million of us who call this state

  • Community Health Groups Must Be Part of New York City’s COVID-19 Reckoning

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    Community clinics must be reconsidered (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    For generations, health care has been vastly different for the haves and have nots, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the divide that was already so apparent to communities of color in New York. 

    Having symptoms of the virus myself in the early months I went to Lenox Hill hospital, farther from where I live because my local hospital was already filled with patients. Now, keep in mind, all private hospitals receive government funding, but their internal

  • What Covid and the 2020 Elections Taught Us: It’s Time to Do Right by New Yorkers on Health Care

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    Health care remains the top issue for voters (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    The Biden-Harris victory is great news and a huge relief. Our country has suffered under Trump.

    But we have a problem. A record number of voters rejected a national campaign that stood for greater economic fairness, science-based policies on COVID-19 and the environment, protecting health care coverage, and racial justice.

    In New York state legislative races, moderate and progressive candidates did well, achieving strong legislative majorities for Democrats in both houses. But several

  • We Must Not Return to ‘Normal’: Seizing Our Opportunity to Rethink Health and Health Care in New York

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    Health care workers during covid (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered remarks at Riverside Church on the inequities in the Trump administration's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. He admirably stated that we must prioritize fairness and equity. Communities like many in the Bronx that have suffered the most because of this virus must not be left behind. But that commitment to leaving no community behind must also be applied to addressing the underlying issues that led to disproportionately negative outcomes for