Saturday, December 20, 2014

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The Call Blog: Improving The Health Of New York City

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42% of those who responded to tonight's Snap Poll said they had a positive view of Mayor Bloomberg's public health initiatives. 31% said negative. The rest said a little bit of both. Look for more shows on Mayor Bloomberg's legacy in the coming weeks!

If the transition team of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is looking for advice on ways to improve the health of New York City, it won't find a shortage of ideas coming from New Yorkers themselves. Today at the "Talking Transition" tent in Manhattan, a panel is focusing on health issues facing children, immigrants, and low-income New Yorkers.

Mayor Bloomberg's public health initiatives have been both celebrated and criticized by New Yorkers over the years. From the indoor and outdoor smoking bans, to the attempt to stop the sale of large sugary drinks, to dozens of hospital closings, how will you remember Bloomberg's efforts to improve public health?

Meantime, the panel discussion comes the same day bankruptcy proceedings began to determine the future of Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn. Outside the courthouse prior to the hearing, many of the hospital's 1,500 employees rallied to call on the State Department of Health to save their jobs.

What will Mayor Bloomberg's legacy be when it comes to public health? Which initiatives should Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio expand on and what ideas need to be eliminated? Have hospital closing affected you or your neighbors? Are cash-strapped medical centers like Interfaith worth saving?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

The only ban I tend to agree with Bloomberg is the ban on smoking in bars and restaurant, all his other bans on outdoor smoking and the sale of sugary drinks was total overreach.

Bay Ridge

The Queens BP, councilmatic .assembly/senate and congressional delegation along with Bloomdeep pockets did absolutely nothing when Holliswood Hospital closed suddenly in August due to a flawed negotiation with a white knight to save it. Shameful and it demonstrates the disinterest of the machine in peoples lives. Queens was less corrupt under Donny Manus.



I'll remember Bloomberg as a fascist who violated our rights and restricted our freedom and as a destroyer of NYC as we know and love it.

Port Richmond, SI

Hi John

All hospitals and medical centers are worth saving, if a person is really sick they wont have time to get to another hospital that's the closest to them is closed/ I'm glad Mayor=elect Diblasio is focused on keeping the hospitals open espically my hospital Mount Sinai because there are some awesome nurses there they have compassion for the patients, some nurses are smart enough to be doctors.

upper west side

We should concern ourselves with the health of U.S. Citizens before illegal immigrants. Let's see if de Blasios is for real or was just pulling a stunt on the closing of Brooklyn hospitals.


Hi John,

In my opinion I believe that this Bloomberg is the most insincere person I have ever known of. This is his dream job and he just cares about his cronies making money and personally I feel that this was a very corrupt administration. I would love to see his grocery bill. It make us wonder just what it is that he eats and drinks. He is to much of a dictator and he does it his way and we have been treated very unfairly and verbally abused by this Mayor. DeBlasio had better start taking a stand and stop trying to please everyone and their whims of personal wants and needs. I believe that we might even be in worse shape than we are now. You mention this hospital that is closing but happened to DeBlasio and Bloomberg and all the other politicians that let this happen. Much of it was due to the free amenities along with the free health care. What happens to the one that have to pick up the tab for all of this.

Thank you,

Bloomberg's legacy in health and human services. He allowed St. Vincents hospital to be closed and now an entire community has no health facilities. Where do these people go now? It's disgraceful that the man has no heart and didn't intervene.

Upper west



I am no fan of Bloomberg and can’t wait until the man is out of office where he can do no harm. But De Blasio should continue the Grade restaurant ratings. The public has a right to know how clean a restaurant kitchen is . The restaurant industry cannot be trusted to monitor itself.

Bklyn Hgts.

Bloombergs' legacy are those well prepared speeches he gave new yorkers. Just another Obama. But in the end it sll amiunts to "All talk no action".

Kenny from Greenwich Village, NYC

My is James I'm 34 years old and I'm from Brooklyn. on Sunday I suffered a heart attack and I have no insurance. I almost didn't go to the hospital because I don't have coverage. I work and I make $48,000 year as a hotel manager. I pay 1400 dollars a month rent in Bushwick. I pay child support. I pay electricity, gas, phone and have a second child 1 year old that lives with me that I financially support. My job offers a medical plan I truley can't afford. I do not have luxuries like nice clothes or a car. I barely scrape by. I went online a few days prior to my heart attack to look into Obamacare. I truely can't afford any of the plans offered. In a few days I should start getting bills from the hospital and all the many great doctors that saved my life. How do I pay for this? I guess when your born into a low income family in Brooklyn chances are you die that way. Sad but true.

James from Bushwick

Maybe it will be that after banning transfats, large sodas and smoking in the park, he didn't see the need for hospitals anymore, so he closed them and put up condos.

East Village

I'm 30, and in Brooklyn. I want to point out that the picketers for the closing hospitals (Interfaith) are the same ungrateful, resentful people who work there! While non critical patients are put on a back burner (what usually happens), the workers simply worry about there employment status. YES - WE DO NEED NEW HOSPITALS + WORKERS - The previous\current workers + system needs a complete overhaul, makes NO sense to keep things as they are.

Mrs. Logan

It sounds like James is a hard working individual and it's rough - and I'm very sorry to hear - that he had these serious health problems at a young age. But why does he have 2 kids, including a 1 year old, when he can't take care of himself? He could health care insurance, but he made bad choices. He's got to look in the mirror when he points blame.

Chelsea, Manhattan

When these hospitals close down, why are they made into condos. If a hospital is not financially sound, find out the cause and replace management.

allan from midwood

An audit on NYCHA was already conducted by John Liu-another audit should be conducted to demonstrate the magnitude of NYCHA's fiscal and operational mismanagement Mayor DiBlasio - CLEAN HOUSE. Please. Preserve, affordable housing, out with Bloomberg's. Infill Plan.


hi John it's Erik from bushwick.. I feel bloombergs trans fat crusade isn't as important as the fact that he did nothing to make healthy food more affordable..

thanks john! love "the call" btw

John & The Call -

On the local hospital financial issues why can't the New York State and NY City officials have a five year plan to use a part of the New York State Lottery funds to commit to a plan to make these institutions financially stable. If this isn't allowed reconfigure the New York State Lottery system to allow for a plan to resolve other public needs

I thought Mayor Bloomberg was a positive for the smoking ban in restaurants but was harsh over the summer when he commented that you can't have a hospital on every block.

John, Oakwood

Bloomberg was the worse mayor EVER!! He gentrified neighborhoods by allowing high-priced housing that forced long-time residents out of their neighborhoods, neglected ANYTHING that involving the public unless he was telling us what to eat, smoke or where we could walk, drive or just BE! I can't wait for him to be out of office...December isn't getting here fast enough! He should take his patsies with him, Quinn, Kelly and all the others!


First and foremost thank you for giving the people of New York an outlet to voice their opinions. I am a 29 year old female from Hell's Kitchen. I began to suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia. This is an pain syndrome with a physical cause, and required that I have two "minor" brain surgeries, not to mention my 15 cleft lip and palate repairs. In my last year of college I left and could not finish due to the surgeries. I have no money, my parents have no money and through a mistake from HRA all of my services were discontinued. What am I to do? I did everything right here and still I am abandoned by my city.

There has been no change for the sick and poor in New York City through mayor Bloomberg's administration. If you are sick and rich you have access to the best doctors that this city can offer. As soon as one says they have medicaid they are treated as if they were less deserving of care. In New York City the city that bore me, that raised me, that gave me hope for a better future, has also denied me access, coverage and the health care that I need in order to get better. I hope that things get better but there are so many barriers to getting services and help if you are poor that I really do not see how things can change.

And as to what a previously caller said people as HRA treat the poor like subhumans. in no job that inhave had would it be allowed for me to hang up the phone on a client who is in desperate need. I hope someone is listening but I am not so sure anymore.


Low crime is Bloomberg and his predecessors legacy regarding public health. Also others already mentioned: smoking ban, restaurant labelling (& other education), CitiBike (finally!), etc.

Financial District

May the new Mayor cease and desist labeling his political mindset as “Progressive”….if he needs to brand his views…then label them as “Commonsense”…This word is less divisive.


I happened to stop by at the tent last night, 50% of the speakers were trying to arrange better (free) health care for non-citizens. A guy got up and told a story about a lady from Blyn who was hospitalized for appro 4 days, here regular bill was $20,000 she then had to pay another $60.000 to cover hospital expenses. The expenses she found out was to cover the cost of people who couldn't afford i.e. non-citizens. She ended up filing bankruptcy. My question here is why do we have to have to foot the bill? either at the hospital or, through higher insurance What is the new administration going to do for the tax paying citizens of NYC.

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