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Advocates rally for new health care system

Chris Caya WBFO News

Advocates for a universal, publicly-financed health care system rallied in downtown Buffalo Friday. Healthcare workers, community activists, union leaders and others, gathered in Lafayette Square, called on Senator Chris Jacobs to support the New York Health Act.

Sara Palmer, an organizer with the Campaign for New York Health says, the legislation will guarantee health care for all New Yorkers. And Palmer says there's no deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance or out of network costs.  

"It's based on your ability to pay. And it covers all New Yorkers. It's not just medical care. It's dental, vision, specialists, hospitals, mental health, reproductive care, prescription drugs, medical supply costs," Palmer said.

And it's expected to lower tax bills.

Credit Chris Caya WBFO News
Organizer Sara Palmer lead off Friday's rally.

"It would save the state $45 million. And it would also decrease Erie County property taxes. Because as of right now, we spend 86 percent of property tax revenues in Erie County on Medicaid," Palmer said.      

The Assembly has passed the New York Health Act three years in a row. And Palmer says that Jacobs' support is key because he could cast the deciding vote to move the bill out of the health committee.

But Jacobs, in a written statement said, the bill could more than double taxes for residents. And the Buffalo Republican wants to see more research on the proposal before making a decision.