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Guaranteed Healthcare for All New Yorkers
The New York Health Act will provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker and would replace private insurance coverage. You and your health care providers work to keep you healthy. New York Health pays the bill.
How New Yorkers will benefit:
- Comprehensive coverage. All residents, regardless of immigration status, will be covered for: primary, preventive, and specialty care; hospitalization; mental health; substance abuse treatment; reproductive health; dental, vision, and hearing; and prescription drugs and medical supplies. Within two years of passage, long-term care will be covered. It will be more comprehensive than commercial health plans.
- Freedom to choose. No network restrictions. Patients will choose the nurses and doctors they want and make healthcare decisions with them, not with insurance companies.
- Fair funding. No more premiums, deductibles, or co-pays. Universal coverage funded through a graduated tax on income, based on ability to pay. Healthcare costs will be cheaper for 98% of New Yorkers. Most business healthcare costs will also be reduced. Public hospitals and clinics in New York will receive fair payment for the patients they serve.
- Equality of Care. It is well documented that there are different standards of care based on whether you are uninsured, have Medicaid, or private insurance. With the New York Health Act, everyone will be treated equally and covered for the same high quality care.
- Decreased administrative costs. No more paying insurance companies’ administrative costs and profits. No more time spent by doctors, hospitals, employers, and patients completing forms and negotiating with insurance companies. The total savings is estimated to be $45 billion. Healthcare will be accountable to the public’s health, not to insurance company stockholders.
- Reduced cost of drugs and devices. Direct negotiation with pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers will bring prices down by as much as 40%.
For all these reasons, support for the New York Health Act is growing. The NYS Assembly has passed the bill four years in a row by large majorities. In the NYS Senate, nearly a majority of Senators support the bill. We desperately need a healthcare system that will reverse decades of inequality through progressive funding; end the horrors of delaying needed care due to medical costs; and relegate medical-related bankruptcy to a footnote in history books. With your help, we can make healthcare a guaranteed right for all New Yorkers!
The New York Health Act is sponsored in the Assembly by Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried (A.4738) and in the Senate by State Senator Gustavo Rivera (S.4840). For the full text of the bill, click here.
Here is a list of FAQs about the New York Health Act. If your question isn't answered here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- What is the New York Health Act?
New York Health is legislation in New York State that would provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker and would replace private insurance company coverage. You and your health care providers work to keep you healthy. New York Health pays the bill. This plan is similar to Medicare or the Canadian system — but better.
Instead of having to worry about getting health insurance through your job, spouse, or buying it on your own, all New Yorkers would automatically have their healthcare covered by a public statewide fund, regardless of age, employment, or financial means. Everyone would have access to healthcare the way everyone has access to the fire department, libraries, and schools – public services provided without your ever having to worry about a bill.Link to this answer
- How will we pay for the New York Health Act?
Many people assume expanding coverage will mean a more expensive system. But the reality is that there is so much waste, fraud, and profiteering in the current system, that moving to a universal, single-payer model actually costs less than the status quo for both the state and 90% of individuals. Below is a graph that shows the funding sources, as well as estimated costs to individuals by income bracket for the NY Health Act. These are based on conservative estimates from the RAND Corporation that savings compared to the current system is $11 billion. The bottom line is that not only is it a moral imperative to guarantee everyone access to care as a right and public good, it is fiscally conservative. We simply cannot afford not to have a single-payer system.
Link to this answer
- Why do we need New York Health?
Every day, five New Yorkers die needlessly due to lack of health coverage. It’s so common that it no longer makes the headlines. In the last ten years, an estimated 20,000 New Yorkers died unnecessarily due to lack of health insurance. Over 1 million New Yorkers lack health insurance, and millions more have plans that would bankrupt them when faced with a medical emergency.
If you’re lucky enough to have a decent health plan, chances are you have been forced to cover more of the cost every year, while having to fight denials and limitations. The fees charged by private insurers have risen by over 50% in the last five years throughout the state. New Yorkers deserve better. We should not have to plan our jobs and lives around how to pay for essential healthcare.
While New York leads the country in how much we spend on healthcare, and the U.S. nationally spends more than $3 trillion on healthcare every year, our healthcare outcomes are far behind other high-income countries in nearly every category. For example, maternal mortality is actually increasing in the U.S. despite every other comparable country making significant gains in reducing deaths related to pregnancy.
Financial barriers and lack of access to care are significant drivers in these shameful health outcomes. Each year, 1/3 of patients with insurance go without prescribed medicines or fail to get the medical attention needed because of high deductibles and co-pays.
The current system relies largely on private commercial health insurance, which spends exorbitant amounts of money on CEO salaries, advertising to healthy “customers” with expensive ads, and creating huge amounts of paperwork and administration. Health insurance companies in the U.S. spend up to 20% of each dollar on administration; Medicare, by comparison, spends 2 cents of each dollar. We throw away billions on commercial health insurance unrelated to direct patient care.
Inequality is rapidly increasing, and your zip code can actually determine your life expectancy. The richest 1 percent of American men lives 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent; 10 years longer for women.
The current system is designed to make profits—which it does very well—not provide health care.Link to this answer
- How Would the New York Health Act Work?
It would provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker and would replace private insurance coverage. You and your health care providers work to keep you healthy. New York Health pays the bill.
1. Freedom to choose your health care providers. There would be no network restrictions. Only patients and their doctors – not insurance companies – would make health care decisions.
2. Comprehensive coverage. All New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: primary, preventive, specialists, hospital, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug, and medical supply costs – more comprehensive than commercial health plans.Link to this answer
3. Paid for fairly. Today, insurance companies set the same high premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, whether it’s for a CEO or a receptionist, and a big successful company actually pays less than a small new business.
- Can universal health care really happen in NYS?
Yes, and we are closer than ever. Last year, the bill easily passed the NYS Assembly for the fourth year in a row. We have nearly a majority of the Senate signed on as cosponsors of the bill. All of the current cosponsors are Democrats, but Republican support for the universal, public healthcare is growing. The Campaign for New York Health is trying to build a powerful grassroots movement to change what is politically possible in New York State. Join us!
Send a message to your Senator today!Link to this answer
Press coverage of the NY Health act. Read all the press posts...