May 06, 2017
NYSARA President and Executive Director meet with NYS Legislative Leaders on Senior Agenda 2017
On Tuesday May 2nd NYSARA President Barry Kaufmann and Executive Director Steve Madarasz met with staff members from Assembly Minority Leader Kolb, Senate IDC Leader Klein, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and with Senate Democratic Leader Stewart Cousins. The NYSARA leaders presented NYSARA’s 2017 Legislative Agenda. President Kaufmann thanked all the leaders for their work to defeat the Governor’s proposal to make retirees that were not paying Medicare part B payments pay them. The 2017 Senior agenda includes the rejection of the NYS Constitutional Convention question, the passage of the Safe Patient staffing bill, addressing retirement security in New York in a way that does not rely on traditional 401k’s or IRA’s that give a false sense of security. NYSARA advocated strongly that any retirement security legislation offer future retirees some sort of a defined benefit.
Also discussed were the other parts of the Legislative agenda including passing the single payer New York Health Act. Passage of the NY Health Act is especially important considering the passage of Trump Care in the House of Representatives. President Kaufmann made the case that the New York Health act would result in New York becoming more business friendly as the cost of employer provided health care would be lower than current costs and business could be more productive by being able to know what their health care costs would be from year to year.
Other items included making the $50,000 income level for the Senior Citizen and Disabled Homeowner Exemption permanent, supporting the creation of a Senior Heating Assistance Program, as heating an medical needs top the list of expenses that seniors on fixed income have to deal with, supporting a bill to prohibit public employers from diminishing health insurance for retirees beyond what is reduced for active workers, addressing senior financial exploitation, addressing long term care costs in NYS and expanding the EPIC drug subsidy program for seniors.
NYSARA Executive Director Madarasz and President Kaufmann are scheduled to meet with representatives of Speaker Heastie and Senator Kemp Hannon this week to continue our discussion.