According to State Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), a self-described “downstate lefty” who is the ranking Democratic Member of the Senate Health Committee, an amended version of a single-payer health care bill is coming soon.
Sen. Rivera is the Senate sponsor of the proposed the New York Health Act, a disastrous proposal which provides for a state government takeover of health insurance. (The bill is known as a single-payer health care bill because under its provisions, all health care services would be paid for by the state government.) While this bill has received enthusiastic support from the far Left, and while many incoming Democratic Members of the State Senate campaigned on it, even Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expressed skepticism as to its feasibility.
In a recent interview with Liz Benjamin of Capital Tonight, Sen. Rivera stated that he and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) were working on a revised version of the New York Health Act. Sen. Rivera’s remarks included the following:
We know this is a fundamental change in the way that we would deliver care in the state of New York, and we want to make sure that if we do it we do it right…We know that this is an incredibly complicated piece of legislation because we are changing a fundamental way of how we deliver care, and it would be a model not only for the state but for the entire country. We have a lot of work left to do to make sure we get it right…
We start with the moral question, which is whether we believe that if somebody is sick, regardless of whether they’re wealthy or not, they should be healthy.
We believe that this is the case. So, we have to design a system that actually achieves this. And we’re going to do it, which again, is going to change based on the conversations that we have had with stakeholders, who have already pointed out, as you’re going to see in the version of the bill that comes in January, some things in the bill that need to be thought about a little bit more.
But the bottom line is we believe the system is broken.
A government takeover of health insurance would create a dizzying array of problems, both fiscal and moral. But the largest problem may be the underlying assumption behind the proposal. Sen. Rivera and his fellow travelers on the Left believe that the health insurance system is flawed. They rush to the conclusion that government must take over that system, but they don’t know how to do it. And it does not seem to occur to them that a government takeover of health insurance might be worse than the system we have now.