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Karen DeWitt

Capitol Bureau Correspondent

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.

She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers. 

Karen previously worked for WINS Radio, New York, and has written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life and the Albany newsweekly Metroland.

She is a past recipient of the prestigious Walter T. Brown Memorial award for excellence in journalism, from the Legislative Correspondents Association, and was named Media Person of the Year for 2009 by the Women’s Press Club of New York State.

Karen is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo.

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Governor Cuomo's office

Planned Parenthood leaders in New York are anxiously monitoring the actions in the Republican-led Congress to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and they say in all versions, their health care centers face big reductions.

Robin Chappelle Golston with Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, the lobby group for the state's Planned Parenthood clinics, is watching the attempts to repeal and replace the ACA, also known as Obamacare, with trepidation.

She said it’s hard to follow, and she thinks that’s deliberate.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his first remarks since President Donald Trump announced in a tweet that he was banning transgender people from the military, condemned the action as “terrible" and “hateful,” and said it is contrary to American values.

Cuomo, speaking before a meeting of the business group ABNY, said it’s “true” that you can base a political movement on “fear and negativity,” but he said the divisiveness is “corrosive” and comes at a “terrible price.”

Matt Ryan New York Now

The Senate is moving ahead on the repeal and possibly the replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and policy makers in New York are bracing for the worst.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking Tuesday on the Senate floor, painted a grim picture of the current state of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, saying it’s caused pain “for literally millions of families.”

“Premiums have skyrocketed,” McConnell said. “Insurance options have declined.”

He said in some states, there is only one carrier available — and in some cases, there are none.

Matt Ryan New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced a series of what he calls “aggressive actions” to expand voter registration, saying he wants to “help combat low voter participation” amid “troubling” attempts by the federal government that might restrict voter access. But a nearly century-old voting rights organization said the governor did not go far enough.

Cuomo, in an executive order, directed all state agencies to mail or provide electronic voter registration forms to members of the public who have had contact with the agencies.

Matt Ryan New York Now

The future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain in Washington, and there are several scenarios under consideration. The latest possible changes could affect New York’s relatively healthy health care system.

The good news is that the Affordable Care Act in New York is doing quite well, according to state officials. The health insurance exchanges are functioning, with 17 carriers offering plans in 2017. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, at a recent rally to preserve the ACA, said New York has built “one of the best health care exchanges in the country.”

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo defined the conflict over changing the health care laws in Washington as a class struggle, saying it’s all about the rich versus the rest.

Cuomo did not mention President Trump  by name, but he said the nation’s health care is in “crisis” and the struggle  is really about those with  lots of money and those with lesser means.

“Make no mistake. The rich are always going to have the best health care system in the world,” Cuomo said. “What they’re trying to decide is what’s the health care for the rest of us.”

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s name has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2020, but first, he may be facing some obstacles to win a third term as governor in 2018.

Cuomo has taken actions in recent months that could be viewed as steps toward a presidential run. He’s hired key staff from President Barack Obama’s administration, as well as new chief of staff Maria Comella, who has worked on Republican presidential campaigns and was a top aide for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Matt Ryan New York Now

The second voter survey in two weeks shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s job approval rating plummeting to a near record low.

Governor Cuomo's office

New York’s top elected Democrats rallied against the Republican Congress’ proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, saying they will take legal action, if necessary, to stop it.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, speaking Monday before a crowd of unionized health care workers at Mount Sinai Hospital, said if the plans to repeal and replace Obamacare in the GOP-led Senate and House do become law, he will sue on behalf of New Yorkers.

NY Now file photo

The corruption conviction of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was overturned Thursday on a technicality by a federal appeals court.

Silver’s attorneys say they are “grateful” for the decision, but the U.S. Attorney’s office for New York’s Southern District said it will retry the case. Until recently, the office was headed by Preet Bharara. He was fired by President Donald Trump earlier this year.

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