Universal Single Payer Health Plan (A.5062-A / S. 3525-A)
MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION
Unshackle Upstate, a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up of business and trade organizations from all parts of Upstate New York, strongly opposes this legislation.
If enacted, this bill would replace the current system of health care coverage in New York State and substitute it with a multi-billion dollar, government-run single payer system paid for by the state’s taxpayers.
We begin by noting that the sponsor does not provide any indication as to what the total cost of this legislation would be, nor does he indicate how it will be paid for. According to the sponsor’s memo, “full funding for New York Health would come from the revenue measures to be proposed by the Governor under guidelines in the bill, plus available federal funds.” The “guidelines in the bill” include a “progressively-graduated payroll tax” and a “surcharge on other taxable income.” Whatever the merits of a state-paid health care program, creating the program without setting forth a specific plan for paying the substantial costs of the program simply defies logic and common sense.
Moreover, Unshackle Upstate has significant concerns regarding New York State’s ability to run and maintain the New York Health program, given its track record in administering its Medicaid program. New York’s program is the most expensive in the nation at a projected $62 billion for 2016. In addition, for years it was an escalating portion of the state budget that had to be curtailed by the implementation of necessary spending restraints and the implementation of recurring savings through the work of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT).
Unshackle Upstate has consistently been a leader in fighting for the state’s taxpayers and employers. With the rising cost of private health insurance as one of the major issues of concern for our members and their employees, we continue to explore opportunities to help keep health insurance affordable in New York State. We maintain that the greatest way to control health care costs is through a robust easily navigable network of health care providers to care for the privately insured.
While the administration and delivery of health care in New York State must continue to be analyzed and updated to benefit its citizens, additional government programs which will only burden the businesses and their employees through additional taxes and fees is policy that will have a devastating impact to the hard-working communities across Upstate New York.
For these reasons, Unshackle Upstate opposes the enactment of this legislation.