Governor Cuomo gave his annual State of the State address yesterday, and we at HCFANY were generally pleased to see the inclusion of the state’s health benefit Exchange in the Governor’s progressive agenda.
Much of the speech focused on the state’s economic revitalization, and we believe that a consumer-friendly Exchange will do much to further economic growth in New York. We know that the Exchange will lower health insurance costs significantly for consumers and small businesses, and that’s money in people’s pockets. The added preventive care benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act will also help to lower health care spending for our state in the long run.
The Governor also said he wanted to restore New York to its “rightful place as the progressive capital of the nation” and that the forthcoming health benefit Exchange will help make our state’s health care system the “finest in the nation.” We know that the Exchange will help more than one million uninsured New Yorkers afford health insurance coverage. HCFANY will be working hard this year to make sure that implementation of the Exchange is as consumer-friendly as possible so that it may indeed be the finest in the nation!
HCFANY issued a short statement on the Governor’s State of the State address, which you can read by clicking here.
The exchange did indeed make it into Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address (his official speech anyways, not the abridged version he actually said), which is great news for New Yorkers. To quote from his speech book:
“When the Exchange is implemented, more than 1 million New Yorkers will gain health coverage and individuals who currently buy their coverage directly will see their cost drop by 66%. Small businesses will see the cost of providing coverage to their employees drop by 22%… We must enact the legislation necessary to establish the Health Insurance Exchange now.”
Those are some hefty numbers! And for millions of New Yorkers, these changes are long, long overdue. We are ecstatic to hear Governor Cuomo publicly prioritizing this as an issue. This is making out to be a very promising session for health reform. Now let’s get to work!
Click here to read Governor’ Cuomo’s official speech book for his State of the State address. (See page 24 for the bit about the Exchange)
Holy cow – can you believe it’s already 2012? It sounds so…futuristic. And, being that the future is now, we are at that all-important day in January when our Governor will give his annual State of the State speech.
What will be on his agenda for this year? Well, we can guess a few things that will probably be on there… Medicaid…the State budget… hydrofracking. Worthy issues, no doubt. WNYC gave a good analysis of this yesterday on The Empire.
What do we we especially want to hear on his agenda? A health insurance exchange for New York tops out HCFANY’s wish list. Let’s hope it tops Governor Cuomo’s list as well.
The Governor’s speech is scheduled to be broadcast today at 1:30pm. You can watch the Governor’s speech streaming live via his homepage, which you can access by clicking here (also available in Spanish and closed captioning).
Let’s keep our fingers crossed, folks!