Health care priority is tops: Klein

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Senator Jeff Klein addressed the annual luncheon of the influential Health Care Association of New York State (HANYS). Klein spoke to the crowd of roughly 500, emphasizing that although the state faces a multi-million dollar deficit, health care-which accounts for over 40% of the budget is a top priority for the Senate. The health care industry employs 38% of working people in the Bronx.

At the luncheon, Klein expressed his hope for federal aid, but also addressed the need to find real solutions at the state level. One such solution would be to allow individuals to convert the existing value of their life insurance into long term care cash. Klein estimated that the proposal would save the state $1.1 billion in Medicaid monies. Currently, New York lacks affordable long term care options, and most people purchase life insurance as a result. By 2015, over 2 million New Yorkers will need services ranging from home health care, to nursing home care.

“Clearly, we need to do more with less, but there are a number of previously unexplored options that we can pursue in a New Albany by bringing more people into the legislative process to find innovative solutions. We can save the state money, make long over-due improvements to our health care system, and keep jobs here in New York, ” said Klein.

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