The Feiner Report
GREENBURGH, NY — December 10, 2019 — Most residents of New York State, Westchester County, and Greenburgh, are not aware of the fact that NYS could be close to doing at the state level what lawmakers have been talking about at the national level – the NYS Health Care Act covers everyone while saving money. I was surprised to learn that the State Assembly approved the legislation by a 2/3rd margin four times; and in the State Senate there are 31 co-sponsors—only one vote short of a majority. Will there be a vote in 2020? Will NYS lead the way?
I interviewed Madelin Zevon, co-chair of the NYS & Westchester League of Women Voters Health Care Committee, and Joanne Reich, who is involved with the Greenburgh Health Care Committee and is a member of the LWV Committee on my WVOX-1460am radio program this past Friday. This is the link:
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED LAW
1. The New York Health Act (A.5248(Gottfried)/S.3577(Rivera) would cover 100% of New York’s population with no co-pays, deductibles or premiums. There would be no more private insurance companies.
2. The bill passed 4 years in a row in the State Assembly by a two thirds margin. In the State Senate there are 31 co-sponsors, only one vote short of a majority. Since the majority party flipped in the last election, our hope is that it will be brought to the floor for a vote in the next legislative session.
3. It would cover all medically necessary services such as primary and preventive care, specialist care, prescription drugs, mental health, substance abuse treatments, reproductive health, physical rehabilitation, dental, vision, hearing and long term care.
4. It would be funded by a progressive tax based on ability to pay (similar to how we pay for Medicare), plus taxable non-payroll income such as dividends, capital gains, interest and investment distributions. Only the rich will pay more.
5. The bill would have a net savings for New York of about $11 billion. Savings from reduced insurance administration costs, reduced hospital and doctors administration costs and reduced prices of drugs and medical devices would be $55 billion. Added costs for covering everyone and cost-sharing, improved provider fees, and long-team-care add up to $43 billion. So, if we subtract the added costs from the savings, the net savings are $11 billion. This is based on the economic study of the RAND Corporation and other health economists.
6. We would need a waiver from the federal government to roll Medicare and Medicaid funds into the New York Health Trust, thereby creating a single entity (single payer). If this is not forthcoming due to the present administrations resistance, these funds will still be forthcoming to NYS and there would be a wrap-around policy created by NYHA to increase benefits to the higher level of benefits.
7. This is not socialized medicine. It is public funding and private delivery, such as Medicare. Doctors and hospitals would remain as they are now.
8. The bill is good for businesses. It takes businesses out of the business of buying health coverage for their employees. This would surely attract businesses to come to New York.
9. Currently Westchester County pays around $276 million in County real estate taxes for Medicaid. This tax would be eliminated reducing property taxes.
10. The League of Women Voters Westchester Health Care Committee is a grassroots effort. They lobby State Legislators, hold public forums, write op-ed articles and letters-to-the-editor and make presentations to various community groups throughout Westchester. We believe healthcare is a human right.
Please go to nyhcampaign.org and click on Resources for more information.