LETTER: The Vast Majority Would Save Money, Ron Widelec, Newsday

Ron Widelec, Commack, August 28, 2018

Your editorial got it very wrong in its dismissal of the New York Health Act and in advocating gradual change instead. The editorial referred to the plan as “free health care,” which is misleading. It would not be free; it would be funded collectively by taxes in the same way as education, policing and a score of other public services.

The editorial said the vast majority of people would save money under this system, but focused more on the costs than the savings. In a 2015 opinion piece in the Times-Union newspaper, Albany Treasurer Darius Shahinfar estimated that the New York Health Act could help taxpayers in his city see property taxes fall by 28 percent. He reasoned that a huge portion of those taxes goes to fund health insurance for school and municipal workers.

Most glaringly, the editorial did not mention that in 2014 and 2017, the Commonwealth Fund, a health care advocacy foundation, ranked the United States worst in an evaluation of health care systems in 11 developed nations — pathetic for the richest country in history. The United States is the only high-income nation to lack universal health care. This real-world evidence is far more powerful than the RAND Corp. study cited in your editorial.

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