CITIZEN ACTION OF NEW YORK
For Immediate Release: June 8, 2011
Contact: Charlie Albanetti, 518.595.9047
On the Health Insurance Exchange:
Will New York Government Protect Health Care Consumers,
or Let the Fox in the Hen House?
Citizen Action’s 20,000+ Members Call on Legislature to Adopt Pro-Consumer Exchange Proposal
Albany, NY – In the last few days of this year’s legislative session, insurance companies are promoting a health insurance exchange that will protect their profits, instead of protecting health care consumers. In response to the Governor’s and Senate Republican Majority’s draft proposals made public by the media yesterday, Citizen Action of New York is mobilizing it’s 20,000+ member base to call on the State Legislature to instead adopt a version of the exchange that protects consumers.
“There are vast differences between the two exchange proposals. The Governor’s proposal is clearly designed the way the Affordable Care Act intended: to give health care consumers quality, affordable access to coverage,” said Jessica Wisneski, Citizen Action’s Legislative Director. “The Senate Majority proposal is designed to make profit for big insurance; it isn’t designed to protect consumers.”
Citizen Action delivered a new fact sheet to members of the State Senate and Assembly today, which included a comparison of the two proposals on key points of greatest importance to consumers. The comparison shows that the Senate Majority proposal leaves out key consumer protection provisions. While the Governor’s proposal is far more consumer-friendly, Citizen Action members are encouraging members of the Legislature to add provisions around race equity and conflict of interest on the exchange’s governing board in the final legislation.
“We won health care reform at the federal level because big health insurance companies have put profits before people and made coverage unaffordable for far too long,” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York. “It’s clear that the Senate Majority exchange proposal is exactly what big insurance wants – to diminish the exchange’s ability to protect New Yorkers from abuses in order to maximize profits. That’s simply wrong, and New Yorkers won’t stand for it. We aren’t going to let the fox in the hen house.”
Members of Citizen Action of New York received an email today encouraging them to contact their representatives in Albany about this important issue.