New York’s Steps Towards Single-Payer

The lower house of the New York legislature has passed a bill authorizing a single-payer plan for the state of New York. Via Modern Healthcare:

New York’s state Assembly passed a single-payer healthcare bill Tuesday that would provide universal coverage statewide. However, the bill faces a difficult path through the Republican-controlled state Senate, and economists have conflicting views on how it would affect spending and taxation.

The bill’s sponsor, Manhattan Democrat Richard Gottfried, said House Republicans’ passage of the American Health Care Act makes it more important that the state Legislature act to preserve affordable healthcare.

“As bad as things are today … what Washington is looking at doing to Medicaid and Medicare and private insurance is going to make it a lot worse,” he said.

The New York Health Act, which previously passed the Assembly three times but stalled in the Senate, would provide no-cost coverage to every New Yorker with no out-of-pocket costs and no network restrictions. It would be paid for through a progressive payroll tax and levies on non-earned income, such as capital gains. A 2015 analysis from Gerald Friedman, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, showed a potential savings of $45 billion in the first year of implementation

There are some estimates that the plan would require a four-fold increase in New York’s state taxes. Given that the plan has been rejected by the New York Senate three times this certainly looks like posturing.

6 comments… add one
  • Jan

    A four fold increase in state taxes? How can that be a good way forward, except for those who pay no taxes?

  • walt moffett

    Some times the best way to convince some one swimming with sharks is bad, is to stand on the dock telling them the water is fine and the sharks are eager to see them.

    That aside, Friedman’s report mentions ending medicaid/medicare/VA/employer provided health insurance etc. Since there’s been no major march on Albany tells me nobody really thinks this measure will pass.

  • As I say the most likely explanation is posturing.

  • CuriousOnlooker

    In Canada health care takes up 50% of the budget of the provinces.

    So a rough guess of a state spends very little on health care today is that single payer would double the states expediture and the state would need to double its taxes.

    Quadrupling just tells you how expensive health care here is.

  • Medicaid consumes about a quarter of Illinois’s budget. I assume that’s typical.

    Quadrupling just tells you how expensive health care here is.

    It’s the prices, stupid. (to quote Uwe Reinhardt)

  • CuriousOnlooker

    Honestly, quadrupling taxes for single payer is not by itself bad. It must be judged as whether afterwards the state is spending more or less in total then before through private and public means on health care.

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