Health-care advocates push for universal coverage
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Also on the panel was Tedra Cobb, the Democratic candidate in New York’s 21st Congressional District; Dr. Dan Larsen, former chief medical officer of Hudson Headwaters Health Network; and Hope Plavin, a retired staff member for the state Department of Health.
Cobb said her overriding issue is making sure that every person has affordable and portable health care. That could either be through the Medicare for All bill or an expansion of the Affordable Care Act.
The reason why Medicare for All is attractive is the administrative costs are only 2 percent for Medicare compared with 20 percent in the private sector, according to Cobb. Most people have experience with Medicare.
“We’re comfortable with it. We understand it. Our parents have it or our grandparents,” she said.
Cobb said she will not take any money for pharmaceutical or insurance companies because she wants to represent her constituents’ interests and not corporate interests.
Cobb’s daughter had emergency back surgery when she was 16, and it took many months to figure out what was wrong. Cobb said she was working part-time at SUNY Potsdam and negotiated health care as part of her package, so she was covered.
“You never want to be a mom and say, ‘Can we afford this?’” she said.
Still, her premium is going up 10 percent because of the “instability in the federal government.” Her new premium is $16,000 with a $10,000 deductible.
“It’s the inability of this country to solve the problem that’s causing the price to go up,” Cobb said.
Cobb said the cost of health care is preventing businesses from hiring additional employees.
Cobb said people have to communicate effectively and start the conversation about whether it would be fair if everybody had health care.
“We need to make sure we don’t squander this opportunity,” she said.