Today’s post comes from guest blogger Mark Hannay, Director of the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign and HCFANY Steering Committee Member
TONY Award season is here, but “Move Over, Kinky Boots!” HCFANY’s also got a hit show, and we’re taking it on the road.
Our run began in late March in Manhattan when 130 people gathered at the InterChurch Center to hear about plans nationally, statewide, and in New York City to bring quality, affordable health coverage to over 1 million New Yorkers (see here.). Next, on April 18 over 50 participants in the Westchester-Putnam Access to Health Care Coalition packed the conference room at GuildNet in White Plains for the coalition’s 4th Annual Legislative Breakfast (pictured above.) Those attending represented local social services agencies, health care practitioners and providers, business associations, and various industry professionals.
The meeting started off with a presentation from Sherry Tomasky, Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the New York State Health Benefit Exchange, who spoke about what’s expected in the coming weeks and months. Next, HCFANY Steering Committee member Mark Hannay, Director of the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign, briefed the group on various health care provisions of the State’s recently-enacted FY 2014 budget, and HCFANY’s priorities for the rest of this year’s state legislative session.
Several public officials from the bi-county region attended and addressed the audience. They included newly-elevated Democratic Conference Leader Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (Yonkers), newly-elected Assemblymember David Buchwald (White Plains), Putnam County Health Commissioner Dr. Allen Beals, and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the Putnam County Office for the Aging.
The reviews are in, and what’s clear from both these well-attended events is that New Yorkers are really hungry to learn more about the Affordable Care Act coming to New York. At best, (channeling Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein) they may know “something’s coming”, but they don’t know too much else about what, when, and how. Accordingly, HCFANY is planning roadshows in Western New York and the Capital District later this spring. Given the audience responses so far, we’re also considering additional appearances in other areas, such as Central New York and Long Island, if there’s interest and we can confirm local entities willing to partner with us – let us know if you like to take a turn in a bit of the limelight. Curtain up!