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Cynthia Nixon is featured speaker at rally for single-payer health care

Jun 7, 2021

Actor and 2018 candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon addresses a rally for the New York Health Act at the State Capitol on June 7.
Credit Karen DeWitt/New York State Public Radio

Actor and 2018 candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon was among advocates for single-payer health care who rallied Monday at the State Capitol. They are urging lawmakers to approve the New York Health Act before the session ends.

The legislation, which is sponsored by the Health Committee chairs in both houses of the Legislature, has enough support among Democrats to pass. But it’s uncertain whether the measure will get a vote before the session ends.

Nixon recounted the tale of her own mother, who had to delay treatment for breast cancer because she lacked health care. She lost the 2018 Democratic Party primary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo while capturing the votes of many of the party’s left wing. Nixon urged Senate and Assembly leaders to allow a vote on single-payer health care.

“What are you waiting for?” asked Nixon, who said the COVID-19 pandemic “laid bare” the health inequities in New York and the nation.

“People are dying out there,” she said.

Republicans, who are in the minority in both houses, oppose the measure, saying it would cost too much.

“It would bankrupt the state of New York,” said Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt. “You would put a ton of people out of work, and I think you would deprive people of health plans that they like and need now more than ever.”

Single-payer advocates said they're not giving up. They said if the bill does not make it through this week, they will be back.