New York Just Passed Universal Healthcare
Well, it’s finally happening folks. After every developed country in the world except the United States decided to guarantee healthcare as a right to their citizens, the State of New York is on their way to joining them.
Before we dive into the analysis, here’s a quick rundown of positive predictions by the University of Massachusetts/Amherst Economics Department Chair Gerald Friedman reported in the press release by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the lead sponsor of the bill.
– 98% of New Yorkers will pay less for health coverage than they do today.
– New York State would see gross savings of over $70 billion in reduced administration, lack of profit, more leverage to negotiate for the prices of medicine and medical devices.
– $45 billion in net savings would be realized once New York expands coverage to all of its citizens
– Local property taxes would go down, according to Albany Treasurer Darius Shahinfar.
Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because it likely is. You see, New York isn’t the first state in the country to attempt single-payer. That distinction goes to none other than Vermont, land of the maple syrup and home of the first self-described Democratic Socialist to run for President in a major party.
In Vermont, Politico reports, single-payer was a valued idea that ultimately never came to fruition because of required tax increases then-governor Shumlin said: “might hurt our economy.”
Further complicating matters was the significant task of integrating those who received federal benefits into Vermont’s statewide single payer system. Basically, there was no concrete plan to successfully negate the federal government’s rule in favor of the state’s.
Those problems could prove to be troubling for New York as well. Though Professor Friedman did report a large amount of savings, reason.com notes that in 2015, the same professor estimated a $91 billion price tag for the entire operation – more than double the net savings by consumers mentioned earlier in this article.
If the New York Senate was as much of a Democratic stronghold as their State Assembly, these facts might be of little consequence. Unfortunately, the State Senate is actually controlled by a slim majority of Republicans, who present a tough path in the upper chamber for a single-payer healthcare system.
All is not lost, however. While the reality of a state-run single payer healthcare system may prove hard to implement, that very obstacle may end up working in our favor by opening the door for federal universal healthcare System.
In my opinion, that system is what progressives should strive for. After all, the Canadian version of single-payer, in which each individual province is required to have their own single payer system, is one of the worst as far as universal healthcare systems go.