Actor and 2018 candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon, was among advocates for single payer health care who rallied at the State Capitol on Monday. They urged lawmakers to approve the New York Health Act before the session ends.
The New York Health Act, which is sponsored by the Health Committee Chairs in both houses of the Legislature, has enough support among Democrats to pass. But it’s uncertain whether the measure will get a vote before the session ends.
Nixon recounted the tale of her own mother, who had to delay treatment for breast cancer because she lacked health care. She lost the 2018 Democratic Party primary to Governor Andrew Cuomo while capturing the votes of many of the party’s left wing. Nixon urged Senate and Assembly leaders to allow a vote on single payer health care.
“What are you waiting for?” asked Nixon, who said the COVID-19 pandemic “laid bare” the health inequities in New York and the nation.
“People are dying out there,” she said.
Republicans, who are in the minority in both houses, oppose the measure, saying it would cost too much. Robert Ortt is Senate Minority Leader.
“It would bankrupt the state of New York,” said Ortt. “You would put a ton of people out of work and I think you would deprive people of health plans that they like and need now more than ever.”
Single payer advocates said they are not giving up. They said if the bill does not make it through this week, they will be back.