Proposed bill expands coverage to those who don’t qualify for Medicaid

AMITYVILLE — U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was also on Long Island Thursday to announce new legislation that would expand health care access for low-to-middle income New Yorkers.

The Basic Health Program Expansion Act of 2018 would grant health insurance to more than 400,000 New Yorkers who do not qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“The truth is that we as New Yorkers believe that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege,” Gillibrand said.

Under current state law, the “basic health program” is only available to New Yorkers who earn up to $24,280 a year. This legislation would double that access and allow New Yorkers who make up to $48,560 eligible for the basic health program.

“It still remains that there are too many of our families that face terrible barriers to health care and can’t afford the basic services,” said Jeannette Phillips, executive vice president of community development of HRH Care.

According to a report by NPR, President Donald Trump’s health officials recently issued guidance that could undercut the exchanges set up for people who buy their own health insurance and also proposed a rule that would send people with job-based coverage into the exchanges, making it more difficult for people with pre-existing medical conditions to access health care.

Chele Farley, Gillibrand’s opponent, claims Gillibrand bailed on a debate to hold the press conference and told FiOS1 News in a statement that, “Senator Gillibrand is only a few miles away but skipped yet another scheduled debate to discuss another bill that won’t pass. The truth is Kirsten Gillibrand supports “Medicare for all,” a government takeover of health care that will double our taxes and hurt the quality of senior care.