Spitzer's Friends

Eliot Spitzer just sent out an announcement in which groups dedicated to fighting diabetes, cancer, leukemia, heart disease and other illnesses in which they “endorse” his plan to reduce health care spending on hospitals and other providers.

“I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who know that state health care spending should be patient-centered,” Spitzer said.

That’s patient-centered, as opposed to, presumably, institution-centered.

The full statement is after the jump.

– Azi Paybarah

HEALTH ADVOCATES ENDORSE GOVERNOR SPITZER’S AGENDA FOR PUTTING PATIENTS FIRST

Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David Paterson today were
joined by a coalition of health care advocates who endorsed their
patient-centered efforts to reform New York’s health care system.

Advocates from the Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society,
American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA),
American Lung Association of New York, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and
the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society met with Governor Spitzer, Lieutenant
Governor Paterson, and Senator Neil Breslin today to discuss the
Governor’s health care plan.

Among other key elements of Governor Spitzer’s health care agenda is the
expansion of health care coverage for nearly 400,000 uninsured children
through the State’s Child Health Plus program.

“I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who know that state
health care spending should be patient-centered,” Governor Spitzer said.
“Our ability to effectively treat – and more importantly prevent -
chronic diseases means we must invest in new public health programs,
such as cancer screenings, obesity prevention programs, and anti-tobacco
initiatives.”

“Support from patient advocacy groups is a testament to the strength of
the patient-centered health care reform. Our budget represents a
fundamental shift in how we spend health care dollars,” said Lieutenant
Governor David Paterson.

Mary Ann Ragona, CEO of the Long Island Chapter of the Alzheimer’s
Association said: “Once enacted, the Governor’s health care reforms
will help create the foundation for a meaningful response to the
expanding number of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Among its key
components are measures to assist families who want to safely care for
an impacted loved one in their home. Ensuring that the necessary support
and resources are available, enabling them to provide care in a manner
that is ultimately more humane and cost effective.”

Donald Distasio, Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society
said: “On behalf of the American Cancer Society’s thousands of
volunteers, staff, cancer survivors and caregivers across New York, we
would like to express our appreciation and support for the Governor’s
proposed Executive Budget measures on cancer prevention and early
detection. We believe this budget holds tremendous promise for
reforming health care and expanding access to health care coverage while
maintaining a strong commitment to specific cancer related programs,
including: $85 million for tobacco use prevention and cessation
support, $27 million in state funding for breast, cervical, and colon
cancer detection programs for the uninsured, and $5 million in new
funding for HPV vaccines for uninsured young women.”

Steve Habbe, Associate Director of the American Diabetes Association
said: “The Governor’s additional $1.8 million in funding for the New
York Diabetes Prevention and Control Program will allow for strengthened
community level initiatives to address prevention issues among both
people with diabetes and those at risk for it. The ADA views stem cell
research as a critical avenue of research in the ongoing search for a
cure for diabetes.”

Paul Hartman, Director of Advocacy for the American Heart Association
said: “The American Heart Association would like to commend Governor
Eliot Spitzer for crafting a state budget that seeks to ensure that
heart disease and stroke prevention and treatment are a priority in New
York State. The Governor’s budget provides over $165 million in funding
for AHA priorities such as tobacco control, obesity prevention,
hypertension programs, emergency telecommunications, and public access
to defibrillation.”

Deborah Carioto, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American
Lung Association of New York State said: “We commend the Governor for
sending to the Legislature a health budget that emphasizes public health
protection and the patient’s first agenda. Such an agenda can make a
difference in the lives of New Yorkers with lung disease, including the
1.6 million with asthma. The budget submittal includes funding for an
asthma disease management program to achieve reductions in hospital
stays. With a price tag of over $9,000 per stay, there are tremendous
savings to be gained from just this one area. This budget lays the
foundation for more efforts to focus on disease prevention rather than
disease treatment.”

Elisa Perreault, an active volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes
Foundation said: “This Executive Budget is a breath of fresh air for
the Diabetes Prevention Control Program and will have a dramatic impact
on the lives of children throughout New York. The Juvenile Diabetes
Foundation also applauds the Governor’s commitment of $50 million for
stem-cell research.”

Quentin “Chip” Lockwood, Jr., Executive Director of the Leukemia and
Lymphoma Society’s Central New York Chapter said: “For patients
diagnosed with Leukemia, Lymphoma, and other blood-related cancers,
immediate and affordable access to treatment is often the difference
between life and death. The Society looks forward to working with
Governor Spitzer to ensure New York’s health care system is equipped and
ready to meet these demands.”