Albany, NY Common Council Unanimously Endorses HR 676

Richard Propp, MD, of the Capital District Alliance for Universal Healthcare, Inc., reports to Healthcare-NOW! that “on October 20, 2008, the Albany, NY Common Council unanimously passed our resolution endorsing HR676. Thank you for your leadership, technical skills, and inspiration.”

Here is the full resolution:


Council Member Conti offers the following Resolution:

*Resolution Number 77.102.08R*


*WHEREAS,* every person in the City of Albany and the United States deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare; and

*WHEREAS,* over 45 million Americans and over 15,000 residents in the City of Albany live daily without healthcare coverage; and

*WHEREAS,* even those now insured often experience burdensome medical debt and sometimes life-threatening delays in obtaining healthcare; and

*WHEREAS,* illnesses and medical debt annually cause five hundred thousand bankruptcies in the United States affecting two million people and an increasing number of home foreclosures are also
associated with medical debt; and

*WHEREAS,* administrative costs and profits amount to 30 percent of healthcare spending in the United States, with rising costs contributing to decreased international competitiveness and massive
layoffs; and

*WHEREAS,* Americans spend double what other industrialized countries spend per person while they are covering all their citizens; and

*WHEREAS,* the City of Albany’s 2008 salary expenditures are approximately $71.5 million for 1420 employees, F.I.C.A. is $5.4 million, and health insurance is $24.4 million, including $10 million for retirees; and

*WHEREAS,* under the National Health Insurance Act, there would be a F.I.C.A. increase of 4.5% or $3.2 million, resulting in a new F.I.C.A. expense of $8.6 million and elimination of the $24.4 million expense for health insurance for a net savings of $21.2 million to the City of Albany; and

* WHEREAS,* these savings could be applied to reducing the current heavy property tax burden which is forcing seniors and others with limited means out of their homes and undermining the Albany’s financial viability; and

*WHEREAS,* U.S. Representative John Conyers has introduced the HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act; and

*WHEREAS,* the goal of HR 676 is to guarantee that all Americans have access to the highest quality and most cost-effective healthcare services, regardless of employment, income, or healthcare status; and

*WHEREAS,* HR 676 will cover all medically necessary services, including primary care, inpatient care, outpatient care, emergency care, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, long term care, mental health services, dentistry, eye care, podiatry, chiropractic, and substance abuse treatment, and

*WHEREAS,* HR 676 will give patients their choice of physicians, hospitals, providers, and clinics with no co-pays or deductibles in a publicly financed, privately delivered system, and

*WHEREAS,* HR 676 has 92 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives as of October 2008, including Representative Michael McNulty of the 21st congressional district of New York State; and

*WHEREAS,* the United States Conference of Mayors at their 76th Annual Meeting in June 2008 adopted a resolution in support of HR 676.

*NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,* that the Albany Common Council expresses its support for the National Health Insurance Act (HR 676) and joins with the US Conference of Mayors in calling upon federal legislators to work toward its immediate enactment; and

*BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,* that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to United States Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, United States Representative Michael McNulty, and James Buhrmaster and Paul Tonko candidates for the House of Representatives from the 21st Congressional District of New York.