One especially ominous item on the Left’s Albany wish list for 2019 is a government takeover of health insurance. Many new members of the New York State Legislature, including some self-avowed Democratic Socialists, promised voters that they would advocate for this extreme and unwise proposal. A government takeover of health insurance—known as a single-payer system—would require major tax increases, would likely lead to a further devaluing of human life and religious liberty, and could greatly increase the already-significant exodus of employers and taxpayers from the State of New York.
The notion of a government takeover of health insurance has one notable opponent: Gov. Andrew Cuomo. To date, the Governor has taken the view that a single-payer plan is a laudable idea that is workable on the federal level, but not on the state level. This position has allowed the Governor to give lip service to an idea that enjoys strong support from members of his party while giving himself an excuse for not pursuing it in New York.
Gov. Cuomo may not support a government takeover of health insurance, but he did support a Democratic takeover of the State Senate in the fall elections. The New York State Assembly has passed single-payer health care legislation five times, and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms believes that every incoming Member of the Senate Democratic Conference supports the measure. On this issue—as on many others—both the Assembly and the Senate may place significant pressure on the Governor to move to the left on this issue.