Local Politicians Want Single-Payer Healthcare System for NY State; Forum Monday

While Democrats running for president debate whether to enact Medicare for All, state-level politicians are working to rally support for a bill that would create a single-payer system in New York state.

The New York Health Act would transform health care in the state, so that it would be paid for by government sources, including state and federal tax dollars and new payroll taxes. It would eliminate premiums, deductibles, co-pays and out-of-network charges.

On Monday, State Senator Robert Jackson will hold a forum on the act with the bill’s sponsors, Assemblymember Dick Gottfried and State Senator Gustavo Rivera, as well as Assembly member Linda Rosenthal and Carlyn Cowen from the Chinese-American Planning Council.

It starts at 6 p.m. Monday at the West End Collegiate Church, 245 W. 77th St. between Broadway and West End Avenue. You can RSVP on Eventbrite here.

There’s more info on the act here, and the payment breakdown is below.

NEWS | 15 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      “so that it would be paid for by government sources, including state and federal tax dollars and new payroll taxes”

      This sounds great. Families and businesses don’t already pay enough taxes in NYS and NYC.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        Surely, Sherman, you understand that the health insurance premium, both the employee and employer portion, is a form of “tax”, albeit paid to a private company, and the Supreme Court has even ruled as such in NFIB vs. Sibelius. Further, you certainly understand that this is a part of employee compensation, whether paid by employee or employer, and thus if done away with should result in increased wages for the employee. So a government-based single payer system will actually result in LOWER taxes, or fees if you wish. Considering the premiums to be employee compensation is Economics 101.

        • Sherman says:

          Hi Bruce

          For starters, I don’t think you should be lecturing me about taxes. NFIB vs Sibelius simply concluded that not paying into the ACA resulted in a penalty and this penalty can be construed as a tax. This was a very controversial decision among tax attorneys.

          And yes, I have a big deduction from my paycheck for health insurance for myself and my family. It would be nice to have this money. But my insurance plan is actually very good. I would not want the government to dictate me or my family’s medical care.

          Furthermore, as inefficient and wasteful as private insurance is the government would likely be far worse.

          If Elizabeth Warren wins the Dem nomination she will get clobbered by Trump on her healthcare proposals.


          • L.G. says:

            I guess you would rather have private insurance companies dictating you and your family’s health insurance, i.e., which doctor you could see; what procedures would be covered; how many visits you are covered for, etc.

            I spend over $2,000.00 a year on private insurance. Yet more than once I have opted to pay out of pocket for health care that I determined was superior to ‘in-network’ care.

            Furthermore, a simple mathematical exercise would reveal how much money would be saved if this costly, inhumane, administratively bloated health care system was overhauled.

      • NN says:

        I pay a lot in taxes. I would gladly gladly GLADLY pay more taxes to never have to deal with an insurance company again. And I both pay lots of taxes and have “excellent private insurance”. Which I am confident would stop being excellent the instant that I or one of my family members actually desperately needed a lot of expensive care.

        Because the job of any for-profit health insurance company is to REFUSE CARE. They earn money by reducing the amount of care that patients get. Even if your insurance seems good, when the disaster hits that you actually need insurance to protect yourself against, your insurance company will not be there for you. They will be finding reasons why they shouldn’t have to pay out.

        And yes, government employees can be inefficient and make mistakes and do rude gatekeeping with the most aggressive of private sector companies. But at least they don’t have the perverse incentive of obscene profit. If someone is going to be finding reasons why I shouldn’t get care, I would rather those reasons not include “so the CEO can make $20 million this year.” That is a grotesque amount of money for one individual to be extracting out of the system, and it is absolutely coming out of care.

        • Scott says:

          You’re entitled to your views on the superiority of government healthcare, but you should know that even single-payer countries like the UK and the Netherlands give taxpayers the option to go private.

          Liz Warren, meanwhile, is for taking that option away from people. Her authoritarian position of outlawing private health insurance is anti-consumer choice and just what I expect from Democrats.

          Also, around 2 million people work in the private health insurance industry. When asked what would happen to them in a Warren administration, the silly old fraud said they could go work in auto insurance.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            Will you be voting for Trump if it is Trump v. Warren, Scott? If so, i don’t see how you could possibly refer to Warren as a “silly old fraud.” Have you listened to trump?

            Warren is actually one of the smartest and most aware politicians in the US. The Medicare for All plan of Sanders and Warren includes funding for a transition for people in the for-profit health insurance industry. All in all, the plan creates MORE jobs, though there will inevitably be some dislocations. The plan will create vast economic efficiencies on the order of magnitude of 2-3% of GDP. I’m sure you know that such efficiencies are great for job creation.

            If you want more information on the transition plan and protection of workers, i suggest you read the recent report by five prominent U Mass economists, which spends quite a bit of time on the transition:


    2. Glen says:

      While I am not averse to exploring a national Medicare-like system, I find it impossible to believe that New York State, on its own, could enact anything that would “save billions.”

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        Glen, are you aware that single payer in Canada is implemented at the province (state) level? and that the Swedish national health system, a form of socialized medicine, is implemented at the county level? “Counties” in Sweden are roughly equivalent to US states. There would be complications if NY State had comprehensive health insurance and, for example, Penn. didn’t. However, we now have many cases where State A has Medicaid expansion and State B, next door, doesn’t. So this is a similar, though somewhat lesser, complication.

    3. Bill Williams says:

      Oh yes please replace my excellent private insurance which I have worked and struck for and raise my taxes. Great idea! And look at the 5 brain surgeons they have leading the charge!

      • Giulia Pines says:

        Bill, why do you think that just because you have excellent health insurance no one else deserves it? Furthermore, what do you think will happen to said excellent private healthcare if you lose your job?

    4. JSN says:

      This is great news! Having lived in the Netherlands and the UK, where medical care is provided to all citizens, I know the importance of not having to worry about co-pays and out-of-network fees. The Netherlands has a hybrid system of private insurance and government regulation of services costs, unlike the UK where the National Health Service charges nothing for its services. In the Netherlands, the cost of doctor appointments to the GP is about $20 and they make house calls! What’s not to like about a system that works without bankrupting its citizenry. Furthermore, the health care is excellent and promptly delivered.

    5. Jim says:

      Yes. I like my insurance plan. No, I do not want to pay more taxes. Leave me the hell alone!

      I have no issue with universal health care, for those that want it. I don’t want it for myself. I have been to a couple of countries that have it, and it really doesn’t work.

    6. MAD says:

      Something is wrong here. The proponents of this plan are suggesting that 34% of the cost could be subsidized by federal taxes. Really? How do they plan to get the federal money? I see hidden new taxes here. Also, how do you ensure good care for all? NY State of Health was a disaster as far as I am concerned and I am reluctant to think that those who administered that plan would be in charge of single payer.

    7. walter says:

      “I would not want the government to dictate me or my family’s medical care.”

      Then you are fine with a private insurance company dictating it. They tell you what doctors you can use under their plans and cannot use under their plans; they tell you what procedures you can use and cannot; they tell you what you have to pay every year and they always raise your premiums. And when you or your family needs this private insurance, you will be penalized for it. You are considered a medical loss in their eyes and your rates will go up as you are now a risk to them. They will charge your employer more for your coverage; your employer will now deduct more from your paycheck. I know this because I have been there. Good luck.