Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hepatitis C test bill clears Assembly

Vocal New York, a grassroots advocacy group representing low income residents, and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, are pushing for the passage of Hepatitis-C testing legislation in the Senate, with only a few days left in session.
Photo by Cassandra Hamdan.

Hep C test bill clears Assembly


People in black and white tee-shirts with Vocal New York printed across their fronts crowded the Million Dollar Staircase in the Capitol; signs, that said, "Hep C Testing = Saved Lives," and "Fight Hep C," waved in the air; chants of, "No justice, no peace," and "End Hep-C" reverberated up and down the staircase; Tuesday was a day to make history in the eyes of some 50 people.

"You are all making history here," Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, told the group of advocates from Vocal New York, a grassroots advocacy group that speaks on the behalf of low-income people, and concerned individuals as they rallied behind a bill (A.1286/S.2750) — the first piece of legislation of its kind nationally — to add a new section to the public health law requiring certain health service providers to offer Hepatitis-C tests to people born between 1945 and 1965. The baby boomer generation has the highest prevalence of Hepatitis-C of any other generation, with 1 out of 30 having Hepatitis-C, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zebrowski said that, though the CDC is not 100 percent sure why baby boomers are so much more susceptible, he believes it's because blood was not typically tested before widespread transfusions began in the early 1990s....

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