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. For more information, e-mail: GottfriedR@assembly.state.ny.us or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Under New York Health, individuals and employers would not pay premiums, deductibles and co-pays.
Instead, coverage would be funded through a graduated assessment on payroll and non-payroll taxable income, based on ability to pay. For 98% of New Yorkers, it will be a substantial reduction in what they now spend. Prof. Friedman estimates that there would be savings for New Yorkers with incomes up to $400,000, with the biggest share of savings going to middle-class families.
4. Less administrative waste, better care, more accountability. The total cost would be $45 billion less than what we now spend, because we wouldn’t be paying for huge insurance company administrative costs and profits or for the costly time and paperwork health care providers spend for dealing with insurance companies. Health coverage would be accountable to the people of New York, not to insurance company stockholders.
5. Job-friendly. Health care costs are a significant and unpredictable problem for business. These costs as a share of payroll have increased 50% in a decade, with small group rates increasing almost 7% on average in 2014, and New York businesses spend over $2 billion annually just to administer health benefits. The New York Health Act simplifies and reduces costs for employers – large and small – by taking them out of the business of buying health coverage. That would make New York dramatically more job- friendly, especially for small businesses, start-ups, low-margin businesses, local governments and taxpayers, and non-profits.
6. The most affordable way. Any plan that keeps insurance companies in the picture means wasting close to billions of dollars each year. The cost of eliminating financial barriers to health care and providing universal coverage would be more than offset by savings on administration and through negotiated pricing for pharmaceuticals and other services.
ACTIVATE: actions to build the movement for New York Health
1) Contact your senator:
The NYS legislative session ends on June 21st so we have just a few more weeks to win majority legislative support for New York Health. Call your senator telling them you are their constituent and are in FAVOR of the New York Health Act.
2) Organize using New York Health postcards at upcoming local events.
As the weather warms, there are many opportunities for outreach at festivals, rallies, parades, and community events. Our postcards to the New York State Senate are a great organizing tool to help identify who in your community supports our efforts to win universal healthcare. To win this fight, we need as many people involved as possible. Postcards are a great way to recruit new activists to join us in this fight. Request postcards via this new page on the Campaign for NY Health website. If you have events coming up this weekend, consider printing off fliers and a petition from the Organizing Resources pages.
3) Tell Your Health Care Story Too many of us struggle silently with financial barriers to care while insurance company CEOs make millions. Telling stories makes political issues personal and exposes the way the current system as failed us. Please take the New York Health Access Survey and invite your friends and families to participate.
4) Learn new skills! On May 11, the Campaign for New York Health hosted a Base Building and Organizing Training. The recording is now available online. Check it out! You can find other trainings and materials on the Campaign Resources pages: www.nyhcampaign.org/resources
Are you planning an in-district lobby visit with your Senator? If you are organizing an in-district lobby visit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to request materials to share with your legislator or for help finding other New York Health supporters to join you. If you’ve led a lobby visit recently, please share information related to your legislators support in this Google form.