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New York State Department of Health
New York State Insurance Department

ISSUED 9/30/2007

Health: Claudia Hutton 518-474-7354, ext. 1
Insurance: David Neustadt 212-480-5265



Western NY Residents Urged to Provide Input on Plan for Health Insurance Coverage

A public hearing to obtain input from New Yorkers on ways to expand health insurance coverage and improve the health care system will be held October 3 in Buffalo.

The hearing will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Post Building at Erie County Community College, City Campus, 121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo.

Governor Eliot Spitzer directed that the hearings be conducted by New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., and Insurance Superintendent Eric R. Dinallo in connection with the Governor’s "Partnership for Coverage" initiative. The Governor is seeking public input to develop proposals for achieving health system reform and affordable universal coverage in New York State.

"I urge interested citizens and organizations in Western New York to come to this hearing and contribute their ideas," said Governor Spitzer. "Our ‘Partnership for Coverage’ is a public-private collaborative initiative that will use a building-block approach to increase access to affordable, high-quality health care for all New Yorkers. These efforts include covering more uninsured children in New York’s Child Health Plus program by expanding income eligibility to 400 percent of the federal poverty level – an initiative for which we are currently seeking federal government approval."

"We know that 2.6 million New Yorkers don’t have health insurance, making it very difficult for them to get the health care they need," said Commissioner Daines. "At these hearings we want to hear from the general public, from stakeholders in the health care system, and from patient advocates and other experts on the best ways to address this problem."

Superintendent Dinallo said, "Many uninsured New Yorkers work but don’t receive health insurance through their employers and can’t afford to purchase private health insurance. We must make certain that health insurance and access to high-quality care are available at a reasonable cost to all New Yorkers."

Additional public hearings will be held on October 10 statewide by phone; October 30 in New York City; November 13 in Syracuse; November 26 in Rochester; and December 5 on Long Island. All individuals planning to testify at a hearing must pre-register. To pre-register, please contact:

Ms. Cindy Esterby
Office of Health Insurance Programs
New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower Bldg., Room 1483
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12237
(518) 474-5737

Ms. Deborah Greer
New York State Insurance Department
One Commerce Plaza
Albany, NY 12257
(518) 474-4567

The hearing notice is at Information on how to register, topics to be covered, health insurance trends and health reform efforts in New York is available at:

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