Assemblyman Peter Abbate

  Delivering
    checkmarkBetter health care
    checkmarkLower drug costs
    checkmarkTax relief
    checkmarkHome equity protection
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Dear Friends,

During the 2006 session, the Assembly took the lead to improve the quality of life for residents of Brooklyn by addressing the high cost of health care, prescription drugs and property taxes. We worked to contain the increasing expenses you face in keeping well and keeping your home.

We will continue to look for new ways to address this important issue and to fight for your safety and welfare to help ensure you live a rich, rewarding and dignified life.

As always, my office is open to help you. Please call or write with any concerns or questions.

Sincerely,
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Peter Abbate
Member of Assembly



Making Health Care Count
Funding our hospitals and nursing homes

By persevering over the governor“s objections and providing $804.1 million in restorations and new spending for crucial health care and aging programs, the Legislature protected our hospitals and nursing homes, so they will be there for us when we need help. Assemblyman Abbate fought for this state funding increase so that all New Yorkers have access to quality, affordable health care (A.12045/S.8471).

The legislation:

  • Increases hospital emergency room reimbursement rates to help struggling hospitals who care for the uninsured

  • Increases nursing home reimbursements

  • Provides $172 million in additional Health Care Reform Act spending for several programs including Medicaid Managed Care, a new Home Care Recruitment and Retention program, and indigent care funding for community health centers

  • Extends the state’s wraparound coverage of Medicaid/Medicare dual-eligible individuals

Fighting Medicaid fraud

The Assembly took the lead to end Medicaid fraud and passed legislation, which Assemblyman Abbate supported, that creates a Medicaid Inspector General office to uncover and combat fraud (A.12015/S.8450). The bill passed the Senate and awaits the governor’s signature.

Medicaid fraud wastes taxpayer dollars and robs our most vulnerable - the sick, disabled and elderly - of needed care. Cracking down on these abuses will help protect both people who need care as well as taxpayers by punishing those who abuse the system.

Disclosing Drug Company Gifts to Doctors

Assemblyman Abbate supported legislation to disclose marketing tactics drug companies use to sell their prescription drugs, so you can think twice before buying high-priced medicine because of hype (A.5574-E, awaiting Senate approval).

Currently, drug companies spend billions - an average of $13,000 per physician a year - to influence doctors. The Assembly bill would outline perks pharmaceutical companies give to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medical personnel in a free annual consumer guide, published by the state Department of Health and distributed by the Office of the Aging and local agencies.

Getting the best price for prescription drugs

The Assembly fought for lower drug costs by establishing Prescription Drug Assistance Program which Assemblyman Abbate supported (A.6336-B, awaiting Senate approval). The proposal would direct the state to collectively bargain for reduced drug prices for seniors; Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) insurance program participants; gap coverage, including the "doughnut hole" gap in Medicare Part D; those without health insurance; and health care facilities.

Under this bill, the state would negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs and lower the cost of prescription drugs, saving money for both state health plans and Medicaid and saving you money on the prescriptions you need.


Health Tips
Lower drug prices

Comparison shopping for low drug prices at www.nyagrx.org, a Web site maintained by the Attorney General and AARP, can also help lower your drug costs.

Long-term care

The New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care brings private insurance providers and Medicaid together to assist individuals in preparing for nursing home or other long-term care to protect their assets and maintain their financial independence. For more information, log on to www.ins.state.ny.us or call 1-800-342-3736.

Health care proxy

The New York Health Care Proxy lets you select a trusted adult, family member or friend to make medical decisions when you can’t, including whether or not to provide life-sustaining treatment. For information about living wills and health care proxy forms, visit www.health.state.ny.us and click on "Health Care Proxy" under "Current Issues."

Health care rights

When you or your family face a serious illness, learn your health care rights and how to make sure your insurance coverage is adequate by calling the New York State Insurance Department at 1-866-694-6743 or logging on to www.insurancehelpny.com.


Tax Relief

Property tax savings with STAR

Assemblyman Abbate voted for STAR rebates to provide real tax relief to New Yorkers, returning money directly to all STAR-eligible homeowners and working families who need it most.

In Kings County, homeowners eligible for the Basic STAR exemption, which has no age or income limit, would receive an average rebate of approximately $58; those 65 and older eligible for the Enhanced STAR exemption would receive approximately $97.

The budget also provides a cost-of-living adjustment to Enhanced STAR, which will save eligible seniors an additional $72 million. In Kings County, the average senior homeowner will save an additional $143.

Additional tax savings

Assemblyman Abbate also fought to reduce taxes by:

  • Eliminating the regressive 4 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110

  • Eliminating the marriage penalty tax

  • Capping sales tax on gasoline


Protecting equity in your home

Assemblyman Abbate voted for the Home Equity Theft Prevention Act to protect you against dishonest businesses that trade in unaffordable high interest equity loans or bait and switch schemes where you unknowingly sign your deed over to a bank or disreputable lender (A.10057-B, awaiting governor’s signature).

The measure helps sellers better understand the terms of their contracts, and allows them a right to cancel it, while imposing criminal penalties for lenders who violate the law.

The legislation helps to stop predatory lending and strengthens existing state laws passed in 2002 to protect homeowners.

For more information, visit the state’s Banking Department Web site at www.banking.state.ny.us/csbr.htm.




Assemblyman Abbate Assemblyman
Peter Abbate
8500 18th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11214
718-236-1764


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