The misguided and disastrous New York Health Act (Bill S.5474-Rivera/A.6058-Gottfried) has been approved by the New York State Assembly Health Committee. Following a party-line vote of 19-7, the bill will now move to the Assembly Codes Committee for further consideration.
The New York Health Act would create a government-controlled single-payer health insurance system in the State of New York. It is no exaggeration to state that this bill, if passed, would sound a death knell for the Empire State.
If the New York Health Act became law, most private health insurance would no longer be allowed. Instead, all New Yorkers would be eligible for enrollment in a proposed New York Health program. Researchers’ estimates of the tax hikes required to fund the New York Health Act annually range from $92 billion to $139 billion to $226 billion. Instead of providing a real funding mechanism for this costly proposal, the bill simply directs the Governor to submit a revenue plan. This “figure-it-out-later” approach to funding an exorbitantly expensive program is unacceptable.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF) opposes the New York Health Act for several important reasons. First, the Act is unnecessary. As of 2018, only 5.4% of New Yorkers were uninsured. It is not necessary to mandate a government takeover of health insurance to help 5.4% of New Yorkers obtain coverage, and it is unconscionable to kick 94.6% of New York residents off of their existing insurance in a misguided effort to ensure coverage for the other 5.4%. Second, the Act would incentivize the rationing of medical care, and would leave high-cost patients with no alternatives if the government refused to provide coverage for their treatment. Third, the Act would endanger religious liberty; under the Act, government would likely pressure faith-based health care providers into engaging in acts that violate their beliefs or leaving the healthcare field altogether. (Do you want Christian doctors and faith-based hospitals to be pressured into performing abortions and so-called “sex reassignment surgeries?”) Fourth, the massive tax increases needed to fund this proposal would be a fiscal nightmare and would motivate both employers and employees to flee the state in droves.
The New York Health Act passed the Assembly each year from 2015 to 2018. The main battle to fend off this bill will be in the State Senate, which has never passed the legislation. If enough New Yorkers communicate their opposition to the New York Health Act to their legislators, perhaps Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and the members of her conference will decide against passing this harmful legislation.