Top Tags

We can do better: “New York Health” can bring us all better care, better coverage at lower cost

The Affordable Care Act– a.k.a. “Obamacare”– has begun to make major improvements in how health care is delivered and paid for. But it still leaves insurance companies with too much control over our health and our wallets. Premiums keep rising, while patients and their doctors try to figure out what is covered and then try to get reimbursed.
     New York can do better. We can get better coverage, get all of us covered, and save billions by having New York State provide publicly-sponsored, single-payer health coverage– like Medicare, but for everyone.  It’s called the “New York Health” bill, which I’m introducing today in Albany.

Like other basic services such as education, police, fire protection, and roads, paying for health care should be a public responsibility. We should not be at the mercy of insurance companies and their ever-increasing premiums. Health care should be a basic right, not a privilege or a commodity.
     Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid redesign work has made great strides to improve health care and reign in health costs in the Medicaid program that serves millions of low-income patients. Now it’s time to help the millions of New York residents and businesses that currently buy private insurance. The majority of doctors, nurses, and patients prefer a single payer system, as do many small businesses and unions. It would save taxpayers and businesses billions of dollars while improving health care for everyone. 
     Vermont is creating a single-payer system for that state.  New York should, too.  Despite the political climate in Washington, states like New York have a history of recognizing our responsibility to protect the right to health care for all.  We can and should do better.