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For Immediate Release
October 10, 2019


Ouch! Single Payer Would Hurt New York State

Legislation would have a devastating impact on Upstate. Let’s instead fix what’s broken.

State lawmakers are holding a public hearing in Rochester today to gather more feedback and recommendations on the New York Health Act, a single payer healthcare system. The members of the Realities of Single Payer coalition welcome the continued dialogue on this critical issue and hope that lawmakers will oppose the legislation once they learn about the harm a single payer system would do to the State.

Upstate, and the Rochester area specifically, has made immense progress in improving the quality and affordability of healthcare. The uninsured rate in Rochester at 3.1% is much lower than the State average of 5.4%. Rochester also has the 3rd lowest cost of private healthcare in the country.

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. The Rochester area alone would face $13.8 billion in new taxes. Upstate New Yorkers are already paying some of the highest taxes in the country.

These taxes would impact everyone, especially upstate businesses both big and small. The job losses would have a ripple effect on local economies, some of which are still recovering from the 2008 recession.

The Rochester area employs tens of thousands of healthcare related jobs, from hospitals and providers to health insurers. We know that all 4,000 health insurance jobs would be cut and more than 76,000 other jobs would be at risk.

Additionally, much of the savings assumed in New York Health Act are dependent upon major cuts to hospitals and doctors. The majority of hospitals would face major funding cuts, leading to a direct impact on accessibility and quality of care. In the Rochester area, 21 of 24 hospital are projected to lose money under a single payer system.

Universal coverage is achievable. The members of the Realities coalition are supportive of adopting ways to make coverage more affordable and to get everyone covered. Let’s fix what is broken instead of blowing up the entire system and replacing it with an even more expensive, experimental, government-run system.

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