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For Immediate Release
March 1, 2019

California Realizes the Cost and Complexity of Single Payer

California legislators this week made the right decision in rejecting a single payer bill and New York State legislators should consider doing the same. Lawmakers in the Golden State realize that completely disrupting the healthcare system is a complex issue and they recognize substantial policy and fiscal discussions need to be had. This is not a “simple” issue as some proponents here in New York have suggested.

Assemblyman Jim Wood, who chairs California’s Assembly Health Committee, told the Sacramento Bee:

“Fundamentally, people don’t really know what they want,” he said. “What I think people want, based on everything we hear, is I think they want access to high quality health care and they want a reasonable cost.”

He also indicated new legislation would be “premature” without a funding plan.

Studies conducted in California found that a single payer plan would cost between $330 and $400 billion every year, twice the state budget. One study also found that the majority of California voters say they support single payer healthcare but only if it doesn’t raise their taxes. Similarly, analysis conducted on a New York single payer plan revealed it would lead to more than $250 billion dollars in new taxes every year. Like California, a cost New York taxpayers should not be burdened with.

California lawmakers also understand that they need assistance from Washington in the way of federal waivers. The head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has said the agency would deny waiver applications from states seeking to implement their own single payer system.

Instead of pushing a single payer bill, lawmakers in California are looking at ways to improve upon their existing healthcare system. We believe this is a smart approach and encourage proponents of the New York Health Act to consider doing the same.


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About Realities of Single Payer
Realities of Single Payer is a coalition of organizations united in support of universal coverage but in opposition to legislation that would create a Single Payer Healthcare System in New York.

The group supports universal healthcare coverage for all New Yorkers. It believes healthcare coverage should be provided through a combination of private and government funded health insurance. We support allowing a variety of healthcare coverage options – employer-based, private and public health insurance programs – rather than forcing all New Yorkers to use a single government-run health insurance program.

The goal of Realities of Single Payer is to provide accurate information on this critical healthcare issue.

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Printable version here.

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