Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried in an interview Tuesday said the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act strengthens his long-sought effort to create a single-payer system in New York.
“What I think New York ought to be doing and the only thing a progressive state can do is enact a state-based improved Medicare for all or single-payer system,” Gottfried said. “The enormous savings we’d get by eliminating the administrative costs in the current system is the only way we can free up enough money to fill up the holes the federal government is going to be blasting in health care.”
New York officials are pondering what to do in the event of a repeal of the law by the Republican-controlled Congress. Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Tuesday said the state can’t really plan for an unraveling of the measure or what could potentially replace it.
The state did participate in the expansion of the Medicaid program and could see its safety net shrink if block grants are created for the program.
“What really scares me is what the federal government is going to cut the Medicaid program and damage Medicare,” Gottfried said.
Still, the more popular, consumer-focused aspects of the ACA are already enshrined in state law, Gottfried said.
“Fortunately, a lot of the insurance provisions, consumer safeguards and the like in the Affordable Care, are embedded in our law,” he said. “Many of them are embedded in our law for 20 years or more.”