Many thanks to the Adirondack Voters for Change for inviting us (New York Assemblyman Phil Steck, single-payer activist Ting Barrow and George Jolly, MD) to the Jan. 18 informational night concerning the New York Health Act.
The New York Health Act is a “single-payer” system of health care finance. Under a single-payer system, a single public agency is responsible for paying all necessary medical care. The only participation requirement is residency. There are no co-pays, no deductibles and no premiums. The system is financed by progressive taxes on payroll and on unearned income. Using tax brackets and rates proposed by Gerald Friedman, UMass economist, it is estimated that 98 percent of New Yorkers would pay less, taking into account premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. The New York Health program would replace Medicare and Medicaid (incorporating the current funding for those programs) and eliminate all commercial insurance, with universal coverage at least as good as that currently available to state workers. The NY Health program would negotiate pricing with manufacturers of drugs and medical devices.