Senator Gillibrand lays out her case against her potential primary challenger Harold Ford.
“If Harold Ford wants to move from Tennessee and run in New York, he is welcome to do so and I welcome an honest comparison of our records and our work for New York. I will take a back seat to no one when it comes to fighting for New York.
“His record of being anti-choice, anti-marriage equality, and now opposed to President Obama’s health care legislation may be right for Tennessee, but I don’t believe New Yorkers will stand for a senator that says they will oppose President Obama, just like the insurance companies want.
“In our state, we have 2.7 million New Yorkers who don’t have health insurance and it is a New York value to get them the quality, affordable care they deserve. While we continue working to address the funding gap, we have already saved nearly $40 billion for New York in President Obama’s bill. I have been working on the Medicaid issues from day one and I have been fighting for more than six months to secure more funding for New York. As we continue negotiating, I am hopeful that we will make improvements.
“Harold Ford is saying no to the President’s plans to expand health coverage to 2.7 million New Yorkers, end discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and prevent families from having to declare bankruptcy when they face a major illness. The legislation requires insurers to cover preventative care at little or no cost and it will reduce the hidden tax that we all pay when caring for the uninsured. It closes the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ so that 500,000 New Yorkers will be able to afford their prescription drugs. It also provides tax credits to 1.6 million New York residents and 249,000 small businesses to help them purchase health coverage.
“The bill is not perfect, and I am fighting as hard as anyone to deliver more funding for New York. I have played a strong role in improving this bill. I helped lead the fight to defeat the Stupak Amendment, worked to increase Medicaid funds and eliminate the cuts to hospitals that serve those most in need. I’ve met with Harry Reid and other leaders in the Senate and I’m working closely with our House delegation to improve the bill and secure more funds for New York. In fact, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems have thanked me for taking the lead on these efforts.”