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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.

Ways to Connect

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.

While a new poll finds New Yorkers would like Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be a “national leader” challenging the policies of President Donald Trump’s administration, Cuomo seldom actually mentions the president by name.

Cuomo has railed against the Republican plans in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, singling out two New York GOP congressmen, Chris Collins and John Faso, who have proposed an amendment to charge the state $2.3 billion to pay for county Medicaid costs.

“Faso- Collins is a shell game,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo dips in poll

Jul 12, 2017
Matt Ryan New York Now

A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s popularity has dipped to a near record low, and the reason could be dissatisfaction in New York City over the governor’s handling of the mass transit system.

Matt Ryan New York Now

A bill to expand New York state’s medical marijuana program to cover sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder passed both houses of the Legislature, but will Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign it into law?

New York’s medical marijuana program is far more restrictive than most states. About a dozen conditions are eligible for treatment, including, according to the State Health Department, “severe and debilitating” forms of cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

The state’s lieutenant governor said New Yorkers should be deeply worried if the U.S. Senate approves a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Currently, the Senate does not have the votes for the GOP plan, but Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said that doesn’t mean opponents of the measure should be complacent.

“This is heading down a path that is very disturbing,” Hochul said.

She had some sarcastic advice for people if the repeal and replacement is approved: “Don’t get sick. And definitely don’t get old.”

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