President’s Message – March 4th, 2013


Section 104, Part E of S2606-B/A3006-B (Health and Mental Hygiene Executive Budget Bill)

This proposal will dramatically change the way health care is provided in New York State, and for the worse.  Quality and access to care must be the overriding concerns for health care providers in the state.  Having health insurance or the ability to pay for care has never been, and should never be of primary concern for any hospital.

We have only to look to our health care payment system to know that for-profit status does not necessarily work for all aspects of the health care industry. The current high cost, lack of access for millions and many of the quality of care issues that providers face are to a large extent the result of a for-profit insurance system that puts profit ahead of the well-being of patients.

To control cost and ensure universal access, the NYS AFL-CIO has long advocated for a single payer health insurance system in the nation and this state.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act at the federal level was a big step forward in achieving the goal of universal coverage, yet we still have a long way to go in controlling costs and improving care.

Expanding for-profit status to hospitals will be a step backward in this state and will only further increase costs, reduce quality and limit access for countless more people that need care.  For-profit entities by nature must have the ability to pay as their first concern, even if at the expense of appropriate treatment, in order to turn a profit for shareholders and/owners. This is ill-suited for the provision of quality health care in a hospital setting.

Mario Cilento, President