Healthcare is a human a right, not just for the privileged.
As premiums, annual deductibles and co-pays continue to skyrocket, more and more people are left uninsured, unable to afford the monthly payments. The COVID-19 Pandemic has exposed the dangers of continuing to rely on private insurance attached to an employer. Many have recently lost their jobs, even union workers, and with it, their health insurance.
The New York Health Act will provide a single-payer model of comprehensive health coverage to all New Yorkers. It covers, all medically necessary care, including medical treatments, prescription, vision, dental, hearing, long-term care and support services, mental health and substance abuse treatment and reproductive care.
The NYHA provides
Freedom to choose your health care providers. There would be no network restrictions. Only patients and their doctors – not insurance companies – would make health care decisions.
Comprehensive coverage. All New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or employment status, would be covered for all medically necessary services, including primary, preventive, specialists, hospital, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug, and medical supply costs – more comprehensive than commercial health plans.
Paid for fairly. Today, insurance companies set the same high premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, whether it’s for a CEO or a receptionist, and a big successful company actually pays less than a small new business.
A major discussion point of the NYHA centers around the cost to implement, but you hear much less talk about the high cost of our current for-profit private insurance system. Excessive waste, fraud and profiteering lead to increasing higher premiums, deductibles and co-pays, causing people to increasingly cover more of their own healthcare costs, while CEO salaries and bonuses continue to increase. Private profit is placed as a priority before public health and no consideration is placed on how the costs will affect people. Administration costs in our current system amount to 20% and under the NYHA would be just 3%.
The NYHA is funded through a graduated income tax (based on ability to pay), reducing overall healthcare costs, including costs for drugs and services. This single-payer model would eliminate the excessive waste and cost less for both the state and 90% of individuals, saving billions in bloated administration. The RAND Corporation indicates a savings compared to the current system at $11 billion.
Additional savings are provided through State bargaining for reduced pharmaceutical and equipment prices. Regressive premiums, deductibles, co-pays, or out-of-network charges would be eliminated. Property taxes will go down because local governments won’t pay for Medicaid, and healthcare for their employees will be cheaper. New Yorkers will have more money in their pockets and better health care for their families, and the tax that pays for the plan will be based on ability to pay.
The NYHA will make it possible for:
people to change jobs without losing their insurance.
small businesses to offer health insurance to the employees who previously couldn't afford to.
sole-proprietors to purchase health insurance for themselves and their families when they previously couldn't afford to.
more people to visit their doctors for preventative medical care, decreasing the inevitable costs of emergency services.
Unions to eliminate the need to negotiate health insurance for their members providing them time and resources to negotiate better salaries, time-off, paid leave, sick leave, maternity leave, tuition reimbursement, and other benefits.
The bottom line is that not only is it a moral imperative to guarantee everyone access to care as a right and public good, it is fiscally conservative. We simply cannot afford not to have a single-payer system.
Resources for the NYHA:
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE NEW YORK HEALTH ACT Gerald Friedman, PhD April 2015 (pdf)