The New York State Assembly has by significant majorities passed a Single Payer Bill for healthcare. The bill has not passed in the New York State Senate. There is a strong belief that if the Democrats take control of the State Senate in the fall election that the Single Payer Bill will pass. If this bill becomes law in New York it will radically change the financing of health care in New York and if the Bill is successful other states will probably adopt similar bills.
The Alumni Association is a not a political organization but we are an organization of physicians. I am sharing information about the bill and the Rand Reports that analyze this bill so that our physician community can become educated about this bill, share their thoughts on our and other social media pages and decide how to use this information for any other purpose. Links to the Rand analysis and summary are attached.
Some Highlights of the Bill:
-All New Yorkers, including those that are undocumented, would all be covered by the same health plan that would be funded by New York State
-This would almost double the New York State Budget
-Funding would come from a special income tax on both wages and income in addition to current New York State Income Tax, Local Income Tax and Federal Income Tax. If waivers are approved funding would also come from Federal Medicaid Funding and Medicare.
-Employers would no longer provide health insurance as a benefit.
-Insurance companies would no longer sell health insurance policies in New York.
-Hospitals which currently serve the under and uninsured would benefit from higher revenues.
-Poorer New Yorkers will have better access to healthcare.
-Middle-class workers who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance will no longer have to pay for their own insurance and the higher tax they pay under the bill will be less than the additional tax they would have to pay.
-According to the Rand Study, 95% of the population would benefit from the bill and the wealthiest would through additional taxation contribute significantly to the cost.
-Rand Projections also predict that it will reduce overall health care costs in New York
Problems with the Bill:
-The bill is based on many assumptions
-The Federal Government has stated that it will not approve the waivers that this bill depends on
-If sufficient numbers of higher income individuals leave New York then the tax rates for the rest of the population would have to be raised and fewer people would benefit from the bill
-The additional income tax over and above the current income taxes would consist of 3 categories: 6.1%, 12.2% and 18.3% with most middle-class workers paying 12.2% and the 18.3% starting with incomes above $141,200
-New York can keep the administrative expenses at 6%, if not costs go up
-Since anyone who resides in New York would be covered there is nothing to stop sick people from coming to New York from anywhere and significantly raising costs
This bill is a radical social experiment in changing how healthcare will be paid for. There are many variables and assumptions made in the Rand analysis that may be inaccurate. There are winners and losers in the bill.
Michael T. Goldstein, M.D., J.D.
Research Report on The Single Payer Bill:
Summary of The Single Payer Bill: