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  • Writer's pictureWilla Pearl Hahn

December Meeting Highlights: New York Health Act

At our December meeting, we were very lucky to be joined by Mark Hannay, Executive Director of the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign, for a presentation and discussion on the New York Health Act (NYHA).

Many of us on the UES Progressives steering committee have been long-time supporters of the NYHA, but have had questions about the details of the bill for our own knowledge and so we can be better advocates for it.

Here are some of the highlights from Mark's presentation:

Q: What is the NYHA?

A: The NYHA is a health insurance program that would replace private insurance and Medicaid.

Q: Who would it cover?

A: All New York State residents and anyone who works full-time in New York State.

For Medicare recipients, the program would wrap around and fill in the gaps of current benefits, so there would be no need to enroll in Advantage or supplemental health plans.

Q: What would it cover?

A: All medically necessary care. That means preventive, emergency, hospitalization, rehabilitative, reproductive, dental, and more along with long-term care such as nursing home stays and home health care services.

Q: How would we pay for it?

A: The NYHA would be paid for through a combination of payroll and investment taxes and federal funding. It would be partially paid for with an earned income-based payroll tax, a minimum of 80% paid for by employers, and no more than 20% by employees. Additionally, a progressive tax on investment income for high-income earners, with an income threshold to be determined. Most individuals and businesses would pay significantly less than they do now.

Q: How would it impact healthcare providers?

A: The biggest impact would be on institutional providers, which would be given a global annual budget based on past history and anticipated needs. Special funding would be available for institutional providers in the event of an emergency such as COVID-19. While the bill would not directly address provider shortage issues, it would decrease the amount of paperwork required for healthcare providers, potentially freeing up time and saving money.

Interested in learning more? You can view the full meeting and presentation here. Want to get involved? We'd love to have you join us at our next NYHA Committee meeting. Contact for more information.

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