BALCONY - Business and Labor Coalition of New York

Health Care in New York:
Successes, Failures, and Challenges in 2016

As America enters the 6th year of the Affordable Care Act, on May 12th BALCONY staged a comprehensive forum on Health Care in New York featuring key players in providing services to our citizens. Among the presenters were health care providers, unions, nurses, advocates, small businesses, and benefit consultants.

Special note: where possible, these videos include slide presentations that detail the issues presented by the speakers at the conference.

This event was BALCONY’S 10th Health Care Forum which included in 2010 a major presentation of the ACA by then United States Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius just after President Barack Obama signed the law in 2010.


(click on the image to view and listen to the presentation)

Welcome and Introduction by Lou Gordon, BALCONY Director

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried
The Keynote Speaker in May was Assemblyman Dick Gottfried Chair of the New York State Assembly Health Care Committee. Assemblyman Gottfried is the prime sponsor of the New York Health Act, that would provide our residents with complete coverage and benefits under a single payer system.  Gottfried presented a comprehensive analysis of the advantages of single payer for New York.


Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President – Health Initiatives Community Services Society

Elisabeth Benjamin, a long standing friend of BALCONY, provided an in-depth analysis of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on New York community groups, consumers and small businesses. Working closely with the New York State of Health, her organization helped more than 60,000 consumers enroll. She is the Co-Founder of Health Care for All New York. Her presentation is a guidepost for people seeking coverage under the Affordable Care Act. BALCONY has worked closely with Elisabeth and was pleased to provide her presentation.   



Helen Schaub, Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy 1199 SEIU

A key player in the Health Care debate in Albany, Helen Schaub and Local 1199 SEIU represent more than 80,000 home care workers in New York State. She provides a strong analysis of the impact of medicaid and medicare on health care as well as the health care delivery provider system.


Jill Furillo R.N. Executive Director, New York State Nurses Association


Jill Furillo, Executive Director of 40,000 members of the New York State Nurses Association, is a strong advocate of the Affordable Care Act and the single payer coverage plan of Assemblyman Gottfried.  She provides BALCONY with a in-depth analysis of the public health infrastructure of New York and the nation.  NYSNA members work in NYC Health & Hospitals and in the voluntary non-profit system.


Sachin Shah, President of Zomo Health

Sachin Shah, President of Zomo Health, made a strong presentation encouraging people to go to their physicians for an annual check up. His population health management program provides incentives for individuals to improve their health and to enable people to link with health care providers via their prevention cloud. Zomo Health provides personal counseling and engages families in its health care prevention program.  




Mark Jaffe, President of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce

Mark Jaffe discussed the need for health insurance for small business. Working with BALCONY his  organization engaged in an outreach program to more than 2000 New York small businesses encouraging them to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.


Robert Grey, Partner Grey & Grey


Robert Grey is one of the acknowledged experts on Workers Compensation in New York State. He explained how the system works, how workers can make claims, how the program is funded and what is the responsibility of the employers.



Dr. Susan Beane, Vice President and Medical Director – Healthfirst


Dr. Susan Beane discussed the Health Care Delivery System and the health care experience for professionals and consumers. She went on to discuss the challenges and possible solutions.  


Suzanne Taranto, Principal Consulting Actuary, Milliman


Suzanne Taranto of Milliman indicated that the company reviews health care from the New York employers and labor unions perspectives. Her talk tells us where we are 6 years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Taranto further explains the Milliman Medical Index and urges unions, employers, and others to refer to it in order to understand health care costs.



Anthony Feliciano, Director-Commission on the Public’s Health System


Anthony Feliciano explained the implications of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s newly released One New York, Health Care for our Neighborhoods which calls for an infusion of $1.8 billion by FY 2020. He explained the public and private health care funding challenges in New York and, in particular, in Brooklyn.




Videos by Suggs Media Productions, Inc.

Click here to view the photos from the Forum: PHOTOGRAPHY


Jennifer Faucher – Conference Coordinator