For Immediate Release
Contact: Joely Johnson, 518.782.9400, ext. 224
Nurses Association endorses Addabbo for Senate
New York, N.Y., Sept. 25, 2008 - The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) announced its endorsement of Joseph Addabbo, Jr., for state Senate at a press conference held today at City Hall in Manhattan.
"Mr. Addabbo's record shows strong support for nursing and healthcare issues," said Tina Gerardi, CEO of the New York State Nurses Association. "As City Council Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor, he has also advanced legislature and initiatives of importance to nurses. We wish him success in his bid for the Senate."
“Healthcare is one of the primary concerns in the 21st century as the cost of coverage escalates and insurance companies continue to encroach upon the clinic. We need to put health care back into the hands of the doctors and nurses who think first about the patient, and second about the bill. I am proud to accept NYSNA’s endorsement and look forward to working together to lower the cost of prescription drugs and out of control insurance premiums. We can do better,” said Councilman Addabbo.
Addabbo took the opportunity to lay out a three-point proposal to address the escalating cost of health care in New York State:
- Single-source drug coverage
A report released in May by Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) revealed that insurance companies are denying or restricting access to single- source drugs with no generic equivalent. Drugs like Lipitor, Plavix, Lexapro, and Advair are prescribed to treat common conditions such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and asthma. Addabbo supports legislation that would require that all medically necessary prescription medications approved by the FDA be covered by insurance companies. Similarly, coverage of medications requiring step therapy will be guaranteed following the doctor/patient compliance with such requirements.
- Convert life insurance to long term care coverage
Addabbo supports a proposal which would would allow New Yorkers to convert the anticipated value of their whole life insurance policies into immediate, but discounted, cash to pay for the long term care they require either at the end of their lives or in the event of a disabling health crisis. This measure would reduce state Medicaid expenditures by providing more liquid assets that New Yorkers can use to pay for their nursing home and home health care needs.
- Expand the income threshold for EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage)
EPIC is a New York State program that helps seniors pay for their prescription drugs. More than a of a quarter million EPIC enrollees save an average of 90% of the cost of their medicines. Most enrollees have Medicare Part D or other drug coverage and use EPIC to lower their drug costs even more by helping them pay the deductibles and co-payments required by their other drug plan. EPIC also helps members pay for Medicare Part D premiums. Currently, the eligibility requirements for EPIC are capped at 35K for an individual and 75K for a couple. Addabbo supports existing legislation (S2257) to expand the income threshold to 50K for an individual and 75K for a couple.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 36,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.