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  • Willa Pearl Hahn

RESOLUTION OF UES PROGRESSIVES: SUPPORTING THE NEW YORK HEALTH ACT

SUPPORTING THE ENACTMENT OF A UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE SYSTEM AS PROPOSED IN THE NEW YORK HEALTH ACT (A.6058/S.5474)


WHEREAS over one million New York State residents are fully uninsured; [1]


WHEREAS more than 40 percent of working-age adult Americans are inadequately insured; [2]


WHEREAS many U.S. adults cannot afford insurance and healthcare, forgo care, and cut back on necessary prescriptions; [3]


WHEREAS medical debt contributes to 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies, and as of 2019 over 530,000 families deal with bankruptcies related to illness or medical bills; [4]


WHEREAS strong scientific consensus exists that lack of insurance leads to tens of thousands of deaths annually; [5]


WHEREAS long-standing disparities in health care access, quality, and affordability persist for lower-income, racial and ethnic minority groups; [6]


WHEREAS the COVID-19 pandemic has a substantially disparate impact on low-income Black, indigenous and other communities of color in New York and underlying social and structural barriers remain; [7]

WHEREAS businesses have experienced increases in the costs of health care benefits for their employees, and many employers are shifting a larger share of the cost of coverage to employees; [8][9]


* * *


WHEREAS the New York Health Act (NYHA) establishes the New York Health program, a comprehensive system of access to health coverage for all New Yorkers; [10]

WHEREAS the NYHA creates a single-payer plan to establish comprehensive and universal guaranteed health care coverage and a health care cost control system for all New York State residents, pursuant to which:

  • Health benefits will include all benefits covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and those mandated under the Affordable Care Act;

  • New York State will request that the federal government allow funds from such programs to be incorporated into the new plan;

  • Patients will have no deductibles, copayments, or other out-of-pocket payments at the point of service for covered benefits;

  • Patients can choose to receive health care services from any participating provider;


* * *


WHEREAS a RAND Corporation analysis found that the NYHA will provide full health coverage to all New Yorkers, reduce total health care costs, and save substantial money for almost all New Yorkers; [11]


WHEREAS the NYHA will generate enormous savings by replacing the marketing, bureaucracy, and profits of insurance companies with a single publicly-accountable plan, as well as by negotiating fair prices with drug companies; [12]


WHEREAS the NYHA will be beneficial to businesses. Instead of paying a per employee premium, the business will pay a proportionally smaller tax to the government to offset the cost of coverage; [13]


WHEREAS access to affordable health coverage is at fundamental risk by federal government and judiciary attacks on the Affordable Care Act and New York should not be wholly dependent upon an unreliable federal government;


WHEREAS the majority of state legislators support the NYHA;


WHEREAS the COVID-19 pandemic makes the NYHA more critical now than ever before.



* * *


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UES Progressives strongly endorses the New York Health Act as a way to improve public health and ensure that basic rights of quality health care are enjoyed by all New Yorkers; and be it further


RESOLVED that UES Progressives will work toward passage of this important legislation; and


RESOLVED that UES Progressives call on the New York State Legislature and Governor Hochul to pass and sign into law the New York Health Act, (A6058 introduced by Assemblymember Gottfried) and (S5474 introduced by Senator Rivera) without further delay [14][15].



CITATIONS:

[1] https://nyshealthfoundation.org/resource/policy-tracker-proposals-to-expand-health-insurance-coverage-in-new-york-state/

[2] https://www.commonwealthfund.org/sites/default/files/2020-08/Collins_looming_crisis_affordability_biennial_2020_sb.pdf

[3] https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/americans-challenges-with-health-care-costs/

[4] https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304901

[5] https://pnhp.org/news/lack-of-health-insurance-and-u-s-mortality/

[6] https://www.milbank.org/quarterly/articles/beyond-health-insurance-remaining-disparities-us-health-care-post-aca-era/

[7] https://www.cssny.org/news/entry/structural-inequalities-in-new-yorks-health-care-system

[8] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/health-plan-cost-increases-return-to-pre-pandemic-levels.aspx#

[9] https://www.kff.org/health-reform/report/how-large-employers-view-rising-health-care-cost-and-the-role-of-government/

[10] https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S5474

[11] https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/gustavo-rivera/rand-corporation-study-confirms-new-york-health-act-could

[12] https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/pnhpnymetro/pages/7770/attachments/original/1554325127/New_Yorkers_Save_Billions_Under_the_New_York_Health_Act_FAQ.pdf?1554325127a

[13] https://www.nyhcampaign.org/why_should_businesses_support_the_new_york_health_act

[14] https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/a6058

[15] https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/s5474

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