New York Health Act could be a lifeboat if Obamacare repealed
The New York Health Act could serve as a lifeboat for residents of New York state if the Affordable Care Act gets repealed or defunded in Washington. If you're saying But I never heard of such a thing you aren't alone. Mainstream media has said nothing about it even as they imply that the demise of “Obamacare” is a done deal.
The New York Health Act would set up a state-run single payer system for everyone in New York. It would be funded by a payroll and an income tax which would be progressive. Those who earned more would pay more. It is very similar to what candidate Bernie Sanders proposed during the 2016 Presidential campaign. It enshrines Health Care as a basic right, not a privilege or a commodity.
The New York Health Act has passed the Assembly twice. Let me say that again.
The New York Health Act has passed the Assembly twice. Once in 2015 and again in 2016.
The bill, number A.5062 was introduced by Assembly Member Richard N Gottfried. It currently has 60 co-sponsors. The Senate version is number S.3525, its sponsor is Senator Bill Perkins. It would cover all New York residents regardless of immigration status. All necessary medical services would be covered including primary care, specialists, hospitalization, dental, vision, mental and reproductive health and prescribed medical devices and supplies. The savings for New Yorkers are estimated to be between $26 and $45 billion per year. A provision provides for negotiation of the price of drugs and medical devices.
One of the major reasons for job losses, especially manufacturing jobs, in New York is health care costs. Every other industrialized country as well as many developing countries already have health care coverage for everyone. In New York as well as the rest of the US, health care costs employers an average of 12 percent of payroll cost. The Act would provide a more level playing field for business in New York.
Small business is what grows the economy and the act would make it easier for small businesses to start and grow because they wouldn't have to worry about constantly increasing health insurance costs. Small Business owner Callie Currin explained it this way in her testimony to the legislature: New York Health would allow me to base my hiring decisions on whether I need another employee to get the work done, not whether I will be able to pay their ever-increasing insurance premiums. On the other side, workers would not be forced to remain in a job, or a marriage, that they hate, just to keep health insurance. It will make starting a new business easier.
The NY Health Act is already endorsed by many large unions including the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Teamsters, Teachers, Nurses, Communication Workers, Auto Workers, University Professions and many more. Also endorsed by the Green Party, Working Families Party, NY Academy of Family Physicians, NY Academy of Pediatrics, Public Health Association of New York, the League of Women Voters and 98 members of the state legislature.
Some of the questions that have been asked and answered
Will I be able to keep/choose my doctor?
Yes, and more so than under the current system. There will be no network restrictions. Patients and their doctors will make health care decisions, not insurance companies. There will even be coverage for those who travel out of state, if the services are deemed medically necessary.
Won't it raise my taxes?
The payroll tax will be added but in almost all cases it will be less than what is currently being taken out for private insurance. That is if you are fortunate enough to have an employer that provides insurance at all. And if your employer doesn't provide it, now someone will at less cost than you would have to pay for individual private insurance. If you own property your taxes will likely come down because local governments will no longer be burdened by Medicaid and insurance costs for their employees.
Won't this lead to rationing and long waits like in Canada?
We have rationing and long waits already and who is doing it? Insurance companies. Care would be allocated based on medical need not company profitability. One in every three Americans including those with insurance puts off medical care because of cost concerns. If anything there will be less “rationing.” There isn't rationing in Canada either, this is more industry propaganda. Canada's system provides excellent coverage. The delays come from issues in their delivery system. It is difficult to maintain large hospitals in a country with a small population (less than that of New York state) spread out over huge distance (3 times the size of the US excluding Alaska). Long waits are often for cosmetic or elective surgery, not life-threatening conditions. It is also worth noting that the Canadian system started in the province of Saskatchewan, with roughly the population of Buffalo.
What can I do to help make this happen?
Contact your New York State Senator! Tell him or her to support S.3525. Locally Senator Rich Funke is an ardent opponent. Keep contacting him and let him know it is what his constituents want!
Once passed by the senate the bill will need Governor Cuomo's signature. If he can fix health care in New York right, there will likely be a seat with his name on it waiting in the Oval Office should he choose.
For more information go to www.nyhcampaign.org
For full text of the bill go to http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us and type a5062