The cost of enacting single-payer healthcare in NY

NY Capitol Bureau

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEXSTAR) – The New York State Assembly and Senate held a hearing earlier this week on the issue of single-payer healthcare, but how would a plan like that work?

If passed, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried says the New York Health Act would essentially become the main payer for healthcare in the state.

“You would go to your ordinary doctors and hospitals and physical therapists and what not. The New York Health Act would pay the bill.”

As for the payment of the plan, it would be through tax. There would be no co-pays, deductibles or premiums.

“The tax would be paid in two forms. Payroll earned income would be taxed through a payroll tax that would be paid… at least 4/5ths by your employer, up to 1/5th by you as the worker.”

He says under the plan, the private sale of insurance would only be allowed to cover things the law would not.

“Frankly I can’t imagine what an insurance company would want to cover that the New York Health Act would not cover because it’s more comprehensive than anything in the market today.

Opponents say that would result in job loss.

“Both on the provider side and the insurer side. And I think there could be a ripple effect right into our economy,” Kevin Dahill, Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State President & CEO, said.

Dahill says the state and the federal government currently reimburse hospitals at rates below their costs.

“There’s every reason to expect that if this bill was to pass the rate that would get established for reimbursement would be pegged either at the Medicaid or Medicare rates.”

Nearly $140 billion would be needed in new state revenue to pay for a single-payer system in

New York in 2022, according to a RAND Corporation study.

Gottfried says the plan would further expand health insurance to cover home healthcare and nursing home care.

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