No. Though it seems hard to believe, it’s much cheaper to cover everyone. In fact, our government already spends MORE per person on healthcare just for the elderly and poor under Medicare and Medicaid than the Canadian government spends to provide healthcare for every citizen throughout their entire life. Why? There are many reasons. Right now our government shoulders the burden of paying for those whose care is most costly — the elderly and the needy — while private health insurers reap billions in profits by insuring those who need care the least — those healthy enough to work. This makes no sense.
Rather, as proven in every country with universal healthcare, when everyone is in the same public insurance pool, our money gets used more efficiently. More of our money goes to providing actual healthcare instead of being wasted on insurance companies’ marketing, claims denial departments, shareholder profits, or bloated CEO salaries.
New York Health would also bring costs down by reducing doctors’ expenses. Doctors spend less when they don’t have to pay for extra staff to manage all the intricate billing that comes with private insurers. For example, Duke University’s 900 bed hospital employs 900 medical billers to deal with all the insurance company paperwork. The cost of employing huge departments to handle all this red tape gets passed on to you, making everything more expensive. By contrast, Toronto General hospital has only 3 medical billers on staff. Why? Because a single payer system is more efficient and therefore cheaper.
Finally, New York Health would save money by giving people more access to care in a timely way before conditions worsen and become more costly to treat in the emergency room. Even prescription drugs would cost less, since the state would negotiate bulk prices.