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Single-payer health care bill advances in Albany

Apr 21, 2021 5:30 am

Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics a bill that would pave the way for a single-payer health care system in New York cleared the Assembly Health Committee April 19. Supporters of the bill argue the measure is needed after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed flaws in the current system. Opponents, however, argue the measure would gut the state's finances and impact employment in the health care sector. Advocates like Campaign for New York Health Co-Directors Ursula Rozum and YuLing Koh Hsu, sited the devastation caused by the pandemic — on both individual household finances, as well as on health itself — as major motivators for the bill's passage this year. "New Yorkers will be mobilizing in big numbers to tell the Assembly and the Senate to pass this legislation before the end of session and to tell Governor [Andrew] Cuomo to sign it into law,” they said in a joint statement. Cuomo has said in the past that a single-payer bill was best left to the federal government, and he has never had the measure put on his desk. The business-backed coalition, Realities of Single Payer, in a statement warned against the legislation advancing further, saying it would be detrimental to health care coverage statewide. The coalition also pointed to newly approved provisions meant to expand coverage, like eliminating Essential Plan premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, while adding coverage for postpartum women. The coalition said the bill "...would limit access and quality of care by underfunding hospitals and providers. Based on the experience of the pandemic, do we really want the state Health Department running our entire health care system?" Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.