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Single Payer: A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

Press Release:
May 28, 2019

Single Payer: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Legislation sounds good in theory, but would have a devastating impact on New York

The members of the State Legislature are holding a public hearing today to gather feedback and recommendations on the New York Health Act, a single payer system. The members of the Realities of Single Payer coalition welcome the dialogue on this critical issue and hope that lawmakers will reject the legislation once they learn about the harm a single payer system would do to the State. While “free healthcare for all” sounds nice, it is not what New Yorkers will actually get.

Single payer would dismantle virtually our entire healthcare system. New Yorkers would be forced to give up their current coverage and be lumped into a one-size-fits-all government controlled system.

The New York Health Act would create the largest state tax increase in U.S. history, with new taxes of more than $250 billion a year when fully implemented.

These taxes would impact everyone, from small businesses to Wall Street. The job losses would have a ripple effect on local economies, some of which are already struggling.

Tens of thousands of health insurance jobs would be eliminated with hundreds of thousands more healthcare related jobs impacted.

Much of the savings assumed in New York Health Act are dependent upon major cuts to hospitals and doctors. The majority of hospitals in the State would face major funding cuts.

“Hospitals already receive less than the cost of care from public payers for services rendered – about 74 cents on the dollar from Medicaid and 87 cents on the dollar from Medicare. An all-encompassing public single payer system will worsen this situation. The ripple effects are obvious – disruption of the hospital’s workforce, longer wait times and decreased access, restriction on innovation and investment in new treatments, to name just a few.” – Kevin Dahill, President & CEO of the Suburban Hospital Alliance

“New York State is lucky to be very close to having universal health coverage today. Pursuing extreme measures such as the New York Health Act is not only unnecessary, it’s dangerous. With conservative estimates of 150,000 private sector jobs lost and an new annual tax of a quarter of a trillion dollars, it’s time to abandon this tired path toward economic ruin and focus our collective energies on better and more efficient ways to address providing healthcare for the remaining few percent of New Yorkers who need it.” – Heather Briccetti, President & CEO of the Business Council of New York State

“This poorly conceived bill will eradicate the health care benefits secured through contract negotiations. Health care options will cease to exist for all New York residents. The sponsors of the bill have steadfastly refused to disclose the cost of this proposal.” – Richard Wells, President of the Police Conference of New York

“Small businesses employ half of New York’s workforce, create opportunities across neighborhoods, and contribute to vibrant, sustainable communities. Small business entrepreneurs are still the backbone of the state’s economy even as Albany continues to make our state’s economy less competitive. The NY Health Act would add unprecedented new taxes for small business and hundreds of billions of new spending to the State’s budget, ultimately forcing even more independent businesses to close shop or leave the state. These are among the reasons why a 2017 survey found 76 percent of NFIB’s members in New York oppose a single payer, government-run health insurance system.” – Greg Biryla, NFIB’s New York State Director

“The Capital Region Chamber has long supported affordable and comprehensive access to health insurance and a robust health care system without imposing new mandates and taxes. A government run, single payer health care system will not accomplish these goals. Legislators should focus their attention on enrolling the five percent of New Yorkers that are currently uninsured. They should not enact legislation that would completely upend our current health care system and do great harm to our state’s economy.” – Mark Eagan, President & CEO of the Capital Region Chamber

“The terms “Single-Payer” and “Universal Health Care” are often thought to mean the same things; they do not. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), universal health care means that everyone receives health care without suffering financial hardship.  Interestingly, the WHO website also explains what universal health care is not:
“Universal Health Care does not mean free coverage for all possible health interventions, regardless of the cost, as no country can provide all services free of charge on a sustainable basis.”
If the World Health Organization doesn’t think that free coverage for all possible health interventions is sustainable by any country, including the USA, shouldn’t that be a consideration for NYS? And how does that correspond to the taxpayers of New York State receiving health care without suffering financial hardship?” – Michael Capaldo, Spokesperson for the New York State Association of Health Underwriters

Universal coverage is achievable. We know that approximately 95% of New Yorkers currently have health coverage. The members of the Realities coalition are supportive of adopting ways to make coverage more affordable and to ensure the remaining 5% of individuals have insurance. Blowing up the entire system and replacing it with an even more expensive, government-run system is bad for New York.

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