To All Directors and Legislative Directors:
One week ago I sent an email to all Directors and Legislative Directors requesting individual member unit opposition memos to the proposed single-payer legislation. I informed you that this legislation was gaining ground and I expressed the need for all of us to get behind this to defeat it. I attached (in both .pdf and MSWord format) a copy of NYSPEC’s opposition memo.
I have repeatedly stated, verbally and in writing, and in testimony, that all 80 member units in NYSPEC are opposed to the previous and current iterations of the bills (S5474/A6058). Our goal is to submit a package containing 80 memos in opposition, one for each member unit.
Sadly to say, as of this writing I have received just 20 opposition memos from 80 member units, and I thank those of you who responded. I know you are busy with other issues, but I cannot stress the importance of this to your membership. Almost every single day there is another news story, blog post, etc., about how this legislation is gaining steam. At this point, it appears that the assembly version is poised to pass in that house.
I made it as easy as possible for all of you to send me an MIO. You could just copy and paste what I sent on your letterhead or you can change some of the wording to suit your needs.
You know I believe in overkill, as we did with the ConCon a few years ago, and I do not want to hear from those legislators who support us that we did not do enough to defeat this insidious legislation. Unlike the ConCon battle, we are hearing very little from some of the other large organizations, who shall remain nameless at this point, on this issue.
These are the name of the current sponsors in the senate and the assembly, so if there are legislators with whom you have a relationship, and/or whom you have supported, you or your board officers should call them and strongly urge them to remove their name from sponsorship.
Assembly: GOTTFRIED, ABINANTI, ANDERSON, BARRETT, BARRON, BENEDETTO, BICHOTTE HERMELYN, BRONSON, BURDICK, CAHILL, CARROLL, CLARK, COLTON, COOK, CRUZ, CYMBROWITZ, DE LA ROSA, DICKENS, DILAN, DINOWITZ, ENGLEBRIGHT, EPSTEIN, FALL, FERNANDEZ, FRONTUS, GALLAGHER, GONZALEZ-ROJAS, HUNTER, HYNDMAN, JACKSON, JEAN-PIERRE, JOYNER, KELLES, KIM, LAVINE, LUNSFORD, LUPARDO, MAMDANI, MEEKS, MITAYNES, NIOU, PAULIN, PEOPLES-STOKES, PERRY, PHEFFER AMATO, PICHARDO, RAJKUMAR, RAMOS, REYES, RICHARDSON, J. RIVERA, RODRIGUEZ, L. ROSENTHAL, SAYEGH, SEAWRIGHT, SILLITTI, SIMON, SOLAGES, FORREST, STECK, STIRPE, TAYLOR, THIELE, VANEL, WALKER, WALLACE, WEPRIN, WILLIAMS -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. AUBRY, DAVILA, FAHY, GALEF, GLICK, GUNTHER, MAGNARELLI, O'DONNELL, PRETLOW, QUART, D. ROSENTHAL, ROZIC
Senate: RIVERA, RAMOS, ADDABBO, BAILEY, BENJAMIN, BIAGGI, BRISPORT, BROOKS, BROUK, COMRIE, COONEY, GIANARIS, GOUNARDES, HARCK- HAM, HINCHEY, HOYLMAN, JACKSON, KAVANAGH, KENNEDY, KRUEGER, LIU, MAY, MAYER, MYRIE, PARKER, PERSAUD, REICHLIN-MELNICK, SALAZAR, SANDERS, SEPULVEDA, SERRANO, STAVISKY, THOMAS
NYSPEC will be sending a letter to all the sponsors requesting they remove their name, and to those who are not sponsors thanking them for staying off the bill. We truly believe that many of the sponsors have signed on because they do not actually believe the bill will come to the floor for a vote, or, as scary as this might sound, that some of them do not even understand the ramifications of the bill.
So this is crunch time! We all need to take this seriously, because if we do not and this seriously flawed legislation passes, we will have no one to blame but ourselves for not flexing our muscle.
Please have someone from your staff do an MIO and send it to me ASAP! I have incorporated the text of NYSPEC’s opposition memo below; feel free to cut and paste any of the text you might want to use. Instead of attaching the fully-formatted NYSPEC MIO here, you may view it on our website at:
Peter D. Meringolo
Memorandum in Opposition
S5474 - Senator Rivera
A6058 - MoA Gottfried
An act to amend the public health law and the state finance law,
in relation to enacting the "New York health act"
and establishing New York Health
This bill would take effect immediately upon its enactment, with the caveat that the program, as established by this act, will begin functioning when the Commissioner of Health declares the beginning of the implementation period. It would create a universal single payer health plan - New York Health - to provide comprehensive health coverage for all New Yorkers.
It is important to note that the New York State Public Employee Conference (NYSPEC) is not opposed to the concept of a single payer health care plan. However, the above-captioned legislation leaves numerous unanswered questions and concerns which are extremely important to our membership. One - perhaps the most important - example, is how to recompense those public employees who have already paid, through reduced salary and benefits accepted as part of collective bargaining agreements negotiated over the course of decades, for their existing health plans. Indeed, for several years, the following language has appeared in the "WE OPPOSE" section of NYSPEC's Legislative Agenda: "Any legislation which circumvents, converts, and/or nullifies hard-fought gains to health care coverage obtained through collective bargaining."
Therefore, The New York State Public Employee Conference, an umbrella organization comprising approximately 80 unions and groups collectively representing a broad spectrum of hundreds of thousands of public employees, strongly opposes this legislation, and urges its defeat.
Peter D. Meringolo, Chairman
Louis Matarazzo, Legislative Director