While we appreciate Howie Hawkins' consideration of New York's employers in his commentary (Opinion on the web: "Single-payer would save N.Y. billions," Jan. 30), as the state's leading business organization we know that employee health costs are a top concern for our members.
Political activist Howie Hawkins in the coming weeks will announce he is running for governor again on the Green Party line.
This would be Hawkins’ third bid for the office since 2010.
Under Hawkins, the Green Party has been able to meet the 50,000-vote threshold in both 2010 and 2014 to receive automatic ballot status the next election cycle. Hawkins, in the past, has run on issues such as banning high-volume hydrofracking and instituting a $15 minimum wage — both of which were later picked up by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Read more
In his most recent bid for office, the 2017 race for mayor, Hawkins received more votes than Republican candidate Laura Lavine, the first time a third party candidate has finished ahead of a major party candidate in that race in 60 years.
Hawkins went on to serve on then Mayor-elect Ben Walsh’s transition team, as a member of the finance committee.
Commentary by Howie Hawkins
A state “Medicare for All” system would save $2.7 billion to insure state employees, which would take a big bite out of the $4.4 billion deficit the state faces.
Instead, Cuomo proposes an austerity budget that is $2.7 billion less than was projected to maintain existing levels of services.Read more
Letter to the Editor by George Jolly, M.D.
Regarding the letter from Heather Briccetti, president and CEO, Business Council of New York State, "Single-payer system would be utter disaster," Feb. 7), I thank Briccetti for bringing the discussion of single-payer health care finance into the public eye with her response to Howie Hawkins' commentary (Opinion on the Web: "Single-payer would save N.Y. billions," Jan. 30). However, Briccetti's response includes serious errors.
Briccetti writes that the "plan would remove choice in health care." This is false. With a single-payer system, the patient has free choice of doctor, hospital or other provider. Insurance companies, for which there will no longer be choice, do not provide health care.Read more
America’s political history is littered with models of perseverance. Because he rose to highest office in the land and served at one of our nation’s most perilous moments and then died for it, Abraham Lincoln is considered the benchmark of stick-to-itiveness.
But we should also recall people like Eugene Debs.... Or Howie Hawkins, a co-founder of the Green Party, who over two decades made 20 unsuccessful bids for office, everything from the Syracuse City Council to the U.S. Senate.
Unpublished letter to the editor of the Albany Times Union, February 8, 2018
Matt Funiciello is the owner of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls, New York
To the Editor:
As an employer of 35 people, I am displeased Business Council of NYS President, Heather Briccetti, opposes the Single-Payer NY Health Act (Letter: Single-Payer system too cost prohibitive for state,” Feb. 6).
The original letter penned by my friend, Howie Hawkins (which Briccetti responded to), cited his actual source, which was an analysis by economist Gerald Friedman (Opinion on the web: "Single-Payer would save N.Y. billions," Jan. 30).
The Business Council's response makes assertions without citing sources. But it is quite clear from the numbers chosen that they come from Avik Roy, a conservative policy analyst whose paper on the NY Health Act concludes that the state should defer to Congress on health care policy. The health care cost crisis in New York will just get worse if our answer is to wait for action from our do-nothing Congress.
Let me respond to the four most false or misleading assertions made by the Business Council in this letter.Read more