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NY Health Act Testimony: Single-Payer Health Care

June 04, 2019

On May 28, 2019, the New York Legislature held a long-awaited hearing on the bill that would establish a single payer health insurance system in New York.  More than fifty representatives of consumer, business, provider, labor and human service groups testified.

The bill is not expected to be taken up in the Senate this session.  There will be additional hearings around the state in the coming months. 

Representing health plans, Health Plan Association President Eric Linzer noted that health plans have been largely responsible for New York's success in covering more than 95% of residents.  He said the state should focus on efforts to close the gap by:

  • aggressive outreach to the one-third of the uninsured who are eligible for existing programs;
  • stabilizing the market by providing subsidies for people who are just above income eligibility for federal subsidies;
  • allowing greater regulatory flexibility in health benefit design to provide more options for employers;
  • addressing underlying costs of care; and
  • making better use of the $5 billion in health insurance taxes the state collects annually, reallocating some to help consumers access coverage.

Below is his testimony, in which he also outlined several major problems with a single payer system.

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