Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Health care

Health care

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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

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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

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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

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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

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  • metroplus strength

    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 ...

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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

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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

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  • local health clinics workers pamphlets

    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

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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

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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

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    Mayor de Blasio at Elmhurst Hospital (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A study recently released by New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection had a grim finding: as the pandemic overwhelmed the city last spring, 30% of patients hospitalized because of COVID-19 ended up dying. The findings confirmed the images New Yorkers grew accustomed to seeing — mobile morgues and patients struggling to survive in h...

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    Lincoln Hospital staff (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As public health officials eye a second major swell of COVID-19 infections and an increase in hospitalizations, New York's hospital systems have begun to brace for another flood of patients. The state has even opened a field hospital on Staten Island in response to rising numbers, a dismal reminder of the devastation of the spring.

    In the months since the height of the pandemic in the spring, New York's health care institutions have been making preparations to try to avoid the same chaos and

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    New Yorkers at a hospital, pre-pandemic (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When Mariana Pineda was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April, she spent several days in the hospital being treated for pneumonia and sepsis after not being able to see a primary care doctor due to a recent change in insurance plans.

    Pineda, an asthmatic, is one of an untold number of New Yorkers who put off seeking treatment for the coronavirus due to complications with insurance plans or not having health care coverage at all.

    “The third day of feeling very sick at home

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    Covid testing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    City Council members and public health professionals gathered over Zoom late last week to discuss how the city can better support public hospitals so that they’re prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19, which experts say could overlap with the annual flu season and recent case upticks indicate may be looming.

    The public hearing — held by the Council’s Committee on Hospitals and billed as an oversight hearing “Examining the City's Support of NYC Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic” — covered issues

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    Hospital emergency room (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It has been a tumultuous week for all of us. The uncertainty about who will lead the country for the next four years has left America anxious, scared, and exhausted.

    But with that question appearing settled, other threats remain. Starting Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

    The consequences could not be more dire. As a health-care professional, I see firsthand how

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  • healthcare workers hospital nurses

    Frontline healthcare workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Skipping family gatherings. Skipping necessary doctor’s appointments. Missing school. Missing time with friends. Losing jobs. And the deaths of loved ones. At this point, COVID-19 has affected every single American in one way or another.

    As a frontline healthcare worker, I have seen firsthand the damage this pandemic has caused. While the death toll has surpassed 225,000 in the United States alone and hospitalizations begin to rise again, I have gone to

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    City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, right (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Members will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday on “sexual and reproductive rights in New York City” and consider a package of legislation on those subjects, at a joint hearing of the Council’s Committee on Health and Committee on Women and Gender Equity. 

    The bills cover a wide range of

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    Health care professionals (photo: John McCarten/NY City Council)


    Finalizing a budget can be chaotic in the best of times. This year, we hammered out the last details of the state’s $177 billion spending plan as the COVID-19 crisis was approaching its peak in New York State. 

    It was in this context that the Legislature agreed to a little-noticed recommendation from the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team II (MRT II) that strips a critical federal benefit

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  • applaud thank staff

    Honoring health care heroes (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Roars of applause, cheers, and clanging of pots and pans – the familiar 7 p.m. signal in New York for many bleak early spring days of 2020 quickly became a daily ritual in fervent support of health-care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. While most watched the wave of infections unfold through the media from the safe havens of their homes, health-care workers went to work hoping, praying, and questioning the chance of infection and survival for themselves, their families, and their

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    Deep and deadly health care disparities persist (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In December of 2019, Sha-Asia Washington joyfully announced her pregnancy to her mother. In December of 2018 I had done the same. Throughout the Spring of 2020, she and her boyfriend counted down the days until her June due date. I had done the same in 2019. As she neared her due date, she went into the hospital with high

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    Health care by video has increased in importance (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    When we first met Alice two years ago, she suffered from schizophrenia, depression, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Even though we set up pill boxes for her and arranged home health aides, she chose to seek treatment only in emergency rooms. Her health continued to deteriorate. 

    Last year, Alice finally began to engage in treatment for her diabetes by phone, but her nurse practitioner provided this treatment on her own time, without government funding. Alice’s

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    Food distribution during the covid crisis (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    COVID-19 has taught us painful lessons about inadequate disaster preparedness and a vulnerable health-care ecosystem. In the midst of access obstacles, insufficient resources, and a limited federal response, a virus of moderate virulence and lethality has taken an appalling toll — over 140,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 including more than 700 health-care workers. Local providers and governments have had to scramble and improvise to manage the onslaught to prevent an even worse

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  • augustine terrace housing

    Health and housing are inextricably linked (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The nationwide protests over the past few months are a response to the tragic murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers -- and to the longstanding racial injustices plaguing our nation. Among these systemic crises is housing inequity and its impact on health.

    Millions of people nationwide lack stable housing due to extremely high rent, domestic issues such as living with an abuser, or various other causes. In New York specifically, hundreds

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    Health care lessons from the coronavirus crisis (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    The saying “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste” is cliché, but true. Out of the coronavirus pandemic can come positive change, but we must learn the right lessons. At the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in New York some hospitals were overwhelmed – short of personnel, ICU beds, ventilators and PPE. But that does not mean, as some have argued, that more permanent

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    State Senator Gustavo Rivera (photo: New York Senate)


    May 27, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Gustavo Rivera on New York's Health Care Response to COVID-19

    State Senator Gustavo RiveraState Senator Gustavo Rivera returned to the show to discuss how New York is responding to the coronavirus crisis, and the status of the New York Health Act, a bill he

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