On Tuesday, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried told advocates for his single payer New York Health Act (A5062/S3525) that the Assembly will bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Over 200 enthusiastic advocates were addressed by Gottfried and later held a rally in the park behind the Capitol before going on to lobby visits. According to Professor Gerald Friedman, Chair of the UMass Amherst Economics Department, NY Health would reduce health care spending by 25% or more than $70 billion in 2019 . He says overhead and profit would be cut and save 9.1%, drug and device pricing cut 5.7%, doctor and hospital billing costs by 7.2%.
Meanwhile New York Health would expand coverage to the uninsured by eliminating copays and deductibles and the net savings overall would then be 15%. New York Health would replace the current multi-payer system of employer based insurance, individually acquired insurance and federal programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid with a single payer system funded by progressively graduated tax assessments. The State Senate bill sponsored by Senator Bill Perkins is not moving in that house and won’t without a change in leadership there.
The advocates were an interesting mix of labor, public interest and health advocates including many younger activists with Physicians for a National Health Plan. A large part of the group were those who have spent a lifetime fighting for the universal health care.
Another lobby day today is organized by the Paid Family Leave Coalition. A press conference will be held at 11:30 in the Legislative Office Building press room. The Assembly has passed this bill and the focus now is on the Senate. Senator Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Caucus is making this issue a priority during the remainder of the session. However, the Senate is in an uncertain state following the charges brought against Majority Leader Dean Skelos.