A message from students

Almost 1 in 5 Americans do not have access to nor can afford healthcare. In New York State’s 23rd congressional district, this means that approximately 140,405 out of the 702,026 people – 20% - cannot continue to maintain sufficient health or even take preventative measures against possible illnesses. About 37,909 residents are currently living without any health insurance at all. With the national obesity epidemic climbing at an alarming rate, about 25.5% and increasing, access to healthcare is of the upmost importance in the mid-term elections this year. Obesity causes diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer - the leading causes of death in the state.

In Cattaraugus county alone, the number of deaths per year from 2000 to 2016 increased from 836 to 1,516. The cause of death by heart disease accounted for approximately 30% of these deaths with New York State placing 15th in the U.S. for deaths by heart disease. Cattaraugus and Allegany counties also placed highest New York State for diabetes-related deaths. Causes of these deaths may be directly related to not being able to access affordable healthcare.

The Health Care Access Coalition works to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for people in Cattaraugus county and New York State’s 23rd congressional district. Members of the Health Care Access Coalition created a petition directing our congressional representative to support H.R. 1776 the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act. Congressional hopeful, Tracy Mitrano, has already signed the petition signaling her support.

The Health Care Access Coalition lends its support to Tracy Mitrano so that the average citizen can access the healthcare they need. If we do not fix this problem now, our congressional district and country as a whole may see increased prevalence of disease and higher death rates as a result. Healthier habits, prevention, and treatment are of the upmost importance in decreasing the death rate in our county, and the nation as a whole for the future of our healthcare and for the health of generations to come.

(All data used from, with the most recent data available being from 2016).

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