Friday, June 15, 2018

NY Assembly Approves Universal Health Care Measure

The New York State Assembly approved a Bill, (A. 5062/S. 3525) by a vote of 92 to 52, Thursday that would create a Universal Health Care System based on the Single-Payer Model.

The Measure would combined State and Federal Funds used for Medicare, Medicaid, and Child Health Plus, to create the New York Health Trust Fund.

The Measure would also require the State to seek Federal Waivers allowing it to fold those Programs into the Trust.

The Bill’s Backers point to the Measure saving on Property Taxes, allowing the Local Government share of Medicaid Funding to End.

“The health care system is rigged against working people, and Congress and the Trump administration are working to restrict health care access even more. New York can do better with an ‘improved Medicare for all’ single-payer system that covers all of us and is funded fairly,” said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-75th District), the longtime Sponsor of the Bill. “Support is growing with the public and in the State Senate. Assembly passage is an important step as we continue to build support for universal health care to benefit everyone.”

But the Bill is nevertheless expected to be costly for the State that already has one of the most Expensive Medicaid programs in the Country. It stands little chance of Passage in the current Republican-Controlled Senate.

According to an Analysis by University of Massachusetts/Amherst Economics Department Chair Gerald Friedman, 98% of New Yorkers would spend Less for Health Coverage and Health Care under New York Health than they do today. New York would save over $70 Billion by Eliminating Health Insurance Company Administration and Profit; Reducing Health Care Provider and Employer Administrative Costs; and Capturing Savings from Negotiating Prices of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices. Even after expanding Coverage to All New Yorkers; Eliminating Deductibles, Co-Pays, and Out-of-Network Charges; and Increasing Low Medicaid Reimbursements, New York Health would generate Net Savings of $45 Billion.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has said he Supports a Medicare Expansion for All on the Federal Level.

Still, Democratic Lawmakers in the Assembly are hopeful it can gain traction, pointing to efforts by President Trump’s Administration to undermine and gut the Affordable Care Act.

“With the White House and Republicans in Congress relentlessly attacking our right to healthcare and vigorously working to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, this vote is a critical step in our State’s efforts to ensure that every New Yorker, regardless of their wealth or status, has an adequate access to affordable healthcare,” said Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-33rd District).

“It is now time for the members of the New York State Senate to stand up for what is right and work towards the implementation of an efficient and universal healthcare system for New York State. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Health Committee and proud sponsor of the New York Health Act, I will continue to work to make healthcare in our great State a right and not a privilege.” he said.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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