At our January 2021 meeting, we will be discussing the State League’s current state health care position and deciding if it should be updated or not. Additionally, we will be asked to decide if we want to change our current position on the financing of health care in the state.
As a continuation of the 1985 statement of position on health care, a two-year study and consensus on the financing of health care was conducted from 1989 to 1991. Below is our current state health care position. The recommended update, about which we will be expected to make a decision, will be in the next issue of the VOTER.
CURRENT Position on Health Care (1991)
The League of Women Voters of New York State believes that everyone should have access to basic physical and mental health care. New York State has a proper role in the regulation of health care and must assure high quality care that is affordable and accessible to all. The state should support incentives to foster the development of alternative delivery and payment methods.
More resources should be devoted to health promotion and disease prevention so that consumers can take active responsibility for their own health. Citizens should have more opportunities to participate effectively in decisions regarding their personal health and in health care policy decisions.
The League believes that New York State’s primary role in health care is to assure that quality care is available to all New Yorkers. We believe that the state should provide planning and regulations to assure everyone, including the medically indigent, have access to a basic level of quality physical and mental health care. Cost containment should be an important criterion in developing regulations. Such regulation, however, should not compromise the quality of care or its accessibility. We support regionalization of specialized tertiary services as a means of providing access while controlling costs.
There should be coordination among regulatory bodies to avoid undue delays and contradictory, duplicative regulations. The League supports regulatory incentives to encourage the development of alternative ways of delivering and paying for health care. Delivery programs should provide quality care, be cost effective, and be adaptable to different geographical locations. Services may take place in a variety of settings, including the home, and must be staffed by personnel who meet state standards.
Coordination of services is essential to assure that community needs are met. In addition, all programs should be evaluated regularly. Payment methods should be encouraged which include incentives for efficiency and for disease prevention and health promotion activities. Some alternatives, which should be considered for state regulation, include ambulatory surgery, alternative providers, prepayment plans and the issue of professional liability. Activities should be continued in public health and research.
Decisions on medical procedures that would prolong life should be made jointly by patient, family, and physician. Patient decisions, including those made prior to need, should be respected. To participate in public discussion of health policy and to share effectively in making policy decisions, consumers must be provided with information on the health care system and on the implications of health policy decision.
The Health Care Committee is seeking new members to do a brief study and report to the membership at our January meeting. We have all of the needed materials, which will be supplied to the committee members. Meetings will be via Zoom. Please fill out the form below to become a part of the Healthcare committee and/or if you have any questions.