New York has a long history of producing progressives focused on delivering health-care to all. Teddy Roosevelt was the first presidential candidate to propose socialized healthcare. FDR was the first president to actually deliver any kind of federal socialized health-care with the EMIC program and Social Security. EMIC provided some maternity and early childhood care, Social Security provided grants to states to provide programs for public health and services to benefit the blind and disabled.
Continuing in that long tradition, New York Democrats have stepped up to support John Conyers’ Medicare For All bill (HR 676). As of today, 15 out of the 18 Democrats in New York’s current Congressional House delegation support HR 676.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is also on record as supporting single-payer, and word is that she will support Bernie Sander’s senate version of Conyer’s Medicare For All bill.
We are a far cry from the environment in 2009, when the party leadership was reluctant to bring a public option to a floor vote, or send it to the CBO for a score. The change in mood is perhaps best underscored by the journey that Max Baucus (D-MT) has been on. As chairman of the Senate Finance committee, in 2009, Sen. Baucus helped kill public option proposals by Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV). Now retired, Max Baucus said he believes the time has come for single-payer.
Speaking of the party leadership, our state’s senior senator (and minority leader), Chuck Schumer has not declared his support for the bill, but he has said single payer is “on the table”. In Schumer’s case, it’s not clear whether he’s referring to a single-payer Medicare-For-All covering everyone, or a Medicare buy-in program with subsidies.
In contrast, 83% of NY’s Democratic delegation in the house has co-sponsored Conyer’s MFA bill, which expands Medicare to cover everyone, and improves benefits. They are:
|Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16]*||01/24/2017|
|Rep. Serrano, Jose E. [D-NY-15]*||01/24/2017|
|Rep. Jeffries, Hakeem S. [D-NY-8]*||01/24/2017|
|Rep. Tonko, Paul [D-NY-20]*||01/24/2017|
|Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9]*||01/24/2017|
|Rep. Nadler, Jerrold [D-NY-10]*||01/24/2017|
|Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25]||02/02/2017|
|Rep. Higgins, Brian [D-NY-26]||03/16/2017|
|Rep. Meeks, Gregory W. [D-NY-5]||03/16/2017|
|Rep. Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY-12]||03/22/2017|
|Rep. Espaillat, Adriano [D-NY-13]||03/22/2017|
|Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7]||03/28/2017|
|Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6]||04/05/2017|
|Rep. Crowley, Joseph [D-NY-14]||05/23/2017|
|Rep. Lowey, Nita M. [D-NY-17]||07/12/2017|
Every Democratic Congressional representative from the nation’s largest city, NYC has co-sponsored HR-676. Dan Donovan, a Republican who represents Staten Island (11th district) is not a supporter.
There are three Democrats in New York’s house delegation who are not on record as supporting Medicare For All. They are Thomas Suozzi (D-NY-3), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-4), Sean Maloney (D-NY-18). Each of them represents NYC suburbs or exurbs including northern Nassau county (the Gold Coast), southern Nassau county (South shore) and Westchester/Dutchess. These areas are generally less diverse, wealthier and more conservative.