MEMO IN OPPOSITION: S.5474 (Rivera) / A.6058 (Gottfried)

Title: AN ACT to amend the public health law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing the “New York Health Act” and to establishing New York Health

 

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce opposes this legislation, which would create a government run, “single payer” health care system to replace New York’s current system of health coverage. The single payer system would be financed by a new mandatory payroll tax on both employers and employees, as well as new taxes on other income such as interest and capital gains.

 

The New York Health Act would result in the largest state tax increase in the history of the U.S. An independent study conducted by the RAND Corporation found that the legislation will require at least $210 Billion in new taxes when fully implemented. The Chamber also has significant concerns about a lack of cost controls built into this proposal. It is likely taxes could be much higher.

 

A significant portion of alleged savings from a government-run system would come from reducing the reimbursement rates the state pays doctors, hospitals, drug makers and other providers. This would lower the workforce for these fields and would most certainly impact the quality of care.

 

During the pandemic we saw the DOL and other government agencies overwhelmed by the surge in activity. However, we saw extreme adaptability and efficiency from those involved with healthcare. After doing so well in the wake of this stress test, we are not sure why we would decide to blow up the current system.

 

Medicare for all is a misnomer for this type of legislation. Medicare allows people to choose a health plan and purchase additional coverage if desired. Under this legislation, New Yorkers would not have any choice in their health care coverage; the only option available would be the government-run single payer system. Monopolies are bad, but the single payer system would create a government monopoly on healthcare coverage. Nearly all single payer systems in the world are not this draconian.

 

Today more than 95% of New Yorkers have health care coverage through a combination of private, employer-sponsored and government supported plans. Of the 5% not covered, approximately 4% of those people are eligible for coverage under the ACA, Essential Plan or Medicaid.

 

The Greater Binghamton Chamber believes the State can approach universal coverage through a multi-payer system and gradual changes rather than a hostile takeover. Affordability is a key component of giving folks better access to health insurance and this would require lowering healthcare related taxes. Let’s work collectively to make sure people know the value of enrolling in a health plan and work to eliminate the gap in coverage approximately 1% of New Yorker’s experience.

 

This single payer health care system would be a disaster for New York. For these reasons, the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce opposes this legislation.

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