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Pat Burke to introduce bill allowing insurance providers to deny coverage for COVID-related treatment on unvaccinated

WBEN Radio Buffalo logo WBEN Radio Buffalo 11/24/2021 Brayton J Wilson
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New York State Assemblyman Pat Burke announced via Twitter on Tuesday he is introducing a bill to legislation that allows insurance providers to deny coverage for COVID-19 related treatment to those who refuse to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

"This would essentially give insurance providers the flexibility to deny coverage for folks who are not vaccinated but need COVID care. They would have to pay for that out of pocket," Burke said on Tuesday. "Over the last two years, we've had hundreds of thousands of people die, everyone's lives have been completely disrupted, businesses have been ruined, and it has cost the federal government, so far, over $4 trillion. The spread of COVID is largely associated with unvaccinated people, and we have a tool to combat that to stomp out COVID, and it's called vaccines. Those refusing to do that are continuing to punish all of that. I want to use this as, yet, another tool to incentivize people and urge people to get vaccinated."

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While this bill is still in the early stages of preparation, Burke is hoping to convey his message clearly to those who have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or those who refuse to get vaccinated.

"You're part of a community. So if you are going to say 'no' to doing your part, then the insurance pool - the community at large that you're hurting - should not be backing you up in that," Burke said. "The idea that you would leave everything up to everyone else; Our businesses are ruined, the schools are closed. Everyone's lives have been completely upended or so many people have died or suffered from other effects of COVID. You have a responsibility, not just to yourself but everyone else, and part of that is taking care of yourself by getting this vaccine and eradicating this virus."

Burke believes that the community is going to keep going down the path of COVID-19 variants inhabiting the unvaccinated of the community until more and more people get their vaccines for COVID-19.

With a bold movement from Burke comes plenty of criticism from other politicians, including former New York State Assemblyman Marc Molinaro, and plenty of other people in the public and on social media.

In some of the people he's talked with, he says some were pushing for more "draconian" measures where people don't get any treatment for any illnesses if they are unvaccinated. Burke says that while he's been an advocate for pushing for things like universal healthcare, this bill is a unique movement that he feels is appropriate to move forward with at this time.

"Everyone has a right to be cared for when they're sick, but the idea that the community, at large, would have to pay for that - your insurance pools or through other healthcare options - seems a bit much under these circumstances."

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