B.A. in History and Classical Humanities, George Washington University; J.D., Hofstra University
KEY HEALTH LINK
Garbarino has extensive experience on both the Insurance and Health Committees. He is also a member of the executive committee of the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), an organization comprised of state legislators focused on crafting model legislation aimed at preserving state jurisdiction over insurance policy and improving the quality of insurance regulation.
New York State Assembly (7th district), 2013-2021
2020 ELECTION CONTEXT
Garbarino faced off against Democrat Jackie Gordon in the general election to succeed Republican Peter King. Garbarino was nominated by the Republican Party, the Conservative Party, the Libertarian Party and the Save America Movement Party.
Peter King (R), retired
MOST RECENT PROFESSION
New York State Assembly (7th district); Lawyer at family law firm
A third-generation local businessman, Garbarino works at his family law firm. Garbarino ran and won his State Assembly seat after Assemblyman Phil Boyle vacated the position in 2012. Garbarino served as Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Insurance. He also sat on the Codes, Health, Higher Education and Racing and Wagering Committees. He served as the Vice Chair of the Joint Conference Committee and as a member of the Assembly Minority Review Committee, which develops and vets policy for the Minority Conference.
On The Issues
In April 2020, Garbarino called for an Assembly investigation into nursing home COVID-19 deaths. He also introduced legislation (A.10966) that would allow nursing home residents to designate an essential person who would be permitted unrestricted access to them and would provide for regular COVID-19 testing for such people. Garbarino introduced legislation waiving state income tax for out-of-state health care workers during the pandemic.
Garbarino has criticized the Affordable Care Act, saying, "Congress should have never completely restructured our nation’s health care system as they did with the Affordable Care Act. While some reforms were surely needed, they should have been made by fixing and adding to the system we had in place." He has not stated whether he would support a full repeal. He stated that he is "committed to improving our health care system by lowering costs and providing more choices for consumers."
Garbarino supports medical marijuana programs, but only in cases of severe illness. He does not support the legalization of recreational marijuana. He has been given a D- rating by NORML.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION
In the State Assembly, Garbarino voted to "improve the delivery of mobile crisis mental health services and determine the need statewide by establishing the New York State Advisory Council on Mental Health Emergency and Crisis Response." He is also a champion of Veterans mental health.
Garbarino has been active in helping people living with opioid addiction to get access to long term recovery options. While in the State Assembly, Garbarino voted to outlaw opioid treatment program co-payments, require the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to provide quarterly reports on the status and outcomes of various initiatives to address the heroin and opioid epidemic, expand access to medications that treat substance abuse disorders, require doctors and pharmacists to provide more information about opioids, shorten shorten opioid prescriptions to 7 days and mandate insurance coverage of NARCAN and Naloxone. He has hosted several NARCAN training sessions and "Shed the Meds" prescription drug give-back days.
Garbarino co-sponsored a bill (A.10866) that would establish a middle ground between drug courts and incarceration for individuals with high recidivism rates for people living with addiction. It would create a "lock-up treatment center" or mandatory state-run opioid rehabilitation center, where people could voluntarily sign away their right to leave for one year or longer in exchange for not being put into the prison system.
Garbarino co-sponsored resolutions related to Mental Health Month (K.00914) and Suicide Prevention Week (K.00928).
Garbarino supports legislation that would cap the annual out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs under Medicare. He supports giving Medicare the authority to do whatever it needs to do to get the best possible price for prescription drugs, including direct negotiations. He supports increased funding for drug development.
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
Garbarino pledged to fight for Veterans access to the services they were promised, including mental health treatment. In the Assembly, Garbarino voted to create a public education initiative to eliminate the stigma of mental health and substance abuse issues surrounding our military and Veterans, and a bill to make resources available to assist Veterans who experienced military sexaul trauma. He also successfully fought to restore funding for the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Counseling Program, a peer to peer counseling program for Veterans with PTSD and TBIs.
As a State Assembly member, Garbarino voted against S.00240, which "authorizes comprehensive abortion coverage in New York." In 2020, he was rated at 33% by Planned Parenthood Empire State. Garbarino co-sponsored "Shannon's Law," which required insurance companies to cover annual mammograms for breast cancer screening for women starting at age 35 (A.05502). He also supported various legislation protecting the rights of sexual and domestic abuse victims.
OTHER HEALTH CARE ISSUES
Garbarino co-sponsored a Medicaid restructuring bill (A04088) that would have transferred the local share of Medicaid to the state level, citing the need to keep the state more accountable for the ”Cadillac plan” mandates they require. Garbarino has cited a program he
supported in NY, the CDPAP (Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program) as one he wants adopted federally. It allows seniors to hire family members to act as caretakers and to be paid by Medicaid so people can age in place. He also was very critical of putting sick COVID patients in nursing homes and wants CDC guidelines for nursing homes to prevent that from happening again. Garbarino supported a bill that ensures Medicaid coverage for complex rehabilitation technology for patients with complex medical needs and another bill that established the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities. Garbarino supported the Volunteer Firefighter Gap Coverage Cancer Disability Benefits Act (A711-B), which created a funding pool to help with the costs of care for volunteer firefighters who develop certain types of cancer known to be related to firefighting occupations. He introduced a bill to establish an Alzheimer’s disease outreach and education program to promote earlier disease identification (A01430). Garbarino also co-sponsored legislation related to optometrists’ ability to prescribe (A01193), medical
malpractice (A00157), adjusting the definition of ”small group” for insurance purposes (A00172), physician and occupational therapy (A00405, A03753), medication synchronization (A03009), incentivizing counties to purchase Medicaid fraud detection software (A03540),
incentivizing physicians to work in shortage areas with loan forgiveness (A03698), permitting certain licensed health service professionals to form LLC business entities (A063667), pharmacist immunizations and emergency treatment of anaphylaxis (A05611), transparency in
long-term care insurance rates (A08398), providing for religious exemption from vaccination requirements for school attendance (A08676) and criminalizing price gouging and fraud related to medical supplies during a public health emergency (A10410). Garbarino cosponsored legislation related to health awareness days, including Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Month (K00267), Certified Registered Nurse
Anesthetist Week (K00678), Teen Dating Violence Awreness and Prevention Month (K00733), Wear Red for Women Day (K00747), Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day (K00755), Direct Caregivers Day (K00767), Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (K00806), Down Syndrome Awareness Day (K00853), Mental Health Month (K00914), Nurses Week (K00915), Family Physicain Week (K00920) and Suicide Prevention Week (K00928).
DID YOU KNOW?
Garbarino continues to attend St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church where he grew up. He is active in his parish’s Knights of Columbus chapter.