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New York News

Cynthia Nixon Speaks At Single Payer Health Care Rally

Actor and 2018 candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon addresses a rally for the New York Health Act at the State Capitol on June 7, 2021
Karen DeWitt
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Actor and 2018 candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon addresses a rally for the New York Health Act at the State Capitol on June 7, 2021

Actor and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon was among advocates for single payer health care who rallied at the New York State Capitol Monday. They are urging lawmakers to approve the New York Health Act before the session ends. The New York Health Act, which is sponsored by the Health Committee chairs in both houses of the legislature, has enough support among Democrats to pass. But it’s uncertain whether the measure will get a vote before the session ends.   

Nixon recounted the tale of her own mother, who had to delay treatment for breast cancer because she lacked health care. She lost the 2018 Democratic primary to Governor Andrew Cuomo while capturing the votes of many of the party’s left wing. Nixon urged Senate and Assembly leaders to allow a vote on single payer health care.  

“What are you waiting for?” asked Nixon, who said the COVID-19 pandemic “laid bare” the health inequities in New York and the nation. 

“People are dying out there,” she said. 

Republicans, who are in the minority in both houses, oppose the measure, saying it would cost too much.

“It would bankrupt the state of New York,” said Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt. “There’s just simply no way the state of New York could afford it. You would put a ton of people out of work and I think you also would deprive people of health plans that they actually like and need now more than ever.” 

Single payer advocates say they are not giving up. They say if the bill does not make it through this week, they will be back.

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