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Needed: A Senator Who Will Look Out for New York and New Yorkers
Date:2/17/2010

NEW YORK, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Betsy McCaughey, prominent patient advocate and former Lt. Governor of NY says, "Shame on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for victimizing New York hospitals and New York's healthcare workers.  Her call for a public option could force New York hospitals into bankruptcy."

In a February 16th announcement and letter to Senator Harry Reid, Kirsten Gillibrand called on the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to support a public option.  Such a scheme will devastate New York's hospitals, forcing cuts in hospital budgets, spreading nurses even thinner, and causing layoffs.

Public Option A Knockout Punch for New York Hospitals

On average hospitals collect 93 cents for each dollar they spend treating a Medicare patient, and only 86 cents for a Medicaid patient.  Hospitals are able to keep their doors open because they manage to wring out $1.32 from private insurers for each dollar of care, according to government data. (MedPAC data March, 2009)

McCaughey says, "Creating a public option, as Gillibrand unwisely recommends, could force New York hospitals into severe losses."  Millions of Americans would leave private plans for this public option, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  This public option will shortchange hospitals, paying them at the same below-cost rates as Medicare pays.

At the least, it would forc
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SOURCE Betsy McCaughey
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