We, and many New Yorkers, support the Single-Payer Health Care bill in the Assembly, A. 5062, sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried. The bill will be brought to a vote this week.
Single-Payer Health Care will include access for all — everyone in, no one left out — and cost containment. Gerald Friedman, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Economics, UMass Amherst, finds that $71 billion will be saved a year, with $45 billion available to reduce local taxes and create economic growth. “The facts are undeniable,” said Albany City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar. “Enactment of New York Health, based on my conservative estimates, would reduce city and school district tax rates by at least 20 percent and could eliminate many county property taxes entirely.”
New York Health will be a boon to business. Employer spending on health care eats up a median 12.8 percent of payroll costs on health insurance, up more than 50 percent in a decade, with small businesses spending even higher percentages. According to the Friedman study, New York Health could be funded through an income assessment averaging just 8.1 percent of payroll.
The bill will offer comprehensive outpatient and inpatient medical care; primary care; preventative care; prescription drugs; laboratory tests; rehabilitative, dental, vision and hearing treatment; mental health and substance abuse treatment.
There will be no co-pays, deductibles or premiums. New York Health would be paid for by assessments based on ability to pay, through a progressively graduated state payroll tax and a surcharge on other income. For more information, visit pnhpnymetro.org.
Small business owners and workers need health care. Enacting Single-Payer legislation would give all New Yorkers coverage, and in the words of Matt Funiciello, small business owner, will “end the annual theft of public money.”
MARGIE VAN METER