Health Care for Everyone the Goal of Single-Payer Proposal Hearings Around NYS

Dec 5, 2014

Hearings around the state started in Syracuse to examine the idea of Universal Health Care under a single-payer system
Credit nyhcampaign.org

Obamacare has provided health insurance for some New Yorkers, but there’s a new proposal that one State Assembly member, some doctors and others say would be a better way to deliver healthcare.  State Assembly Health Chair Richard Gottfried authored an act that would bring state-wide universal healthcare to New York.  He says under the program, people with employer funded health insurance would save even more. 

They would not pay a premium; they would not pay a deductible; they would not pay a co-pay.  If they go out of network , they would not pay out-of-network charges.  The system would be entirely funded by brad-based assessments based on ability to pay."   

Robert Ostrander is a doctor with a family practice and teaches at Upstate Medical University who supports the plan.  He thinks it would simplify the healthcare system and cut his overhead costs in half.  He says that taxpayers already pay enough…

"When you consider Medicaid, Medicare, Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, the State Exchange Subsidies and health insurance for government employees on every level, taxpayers are already purchasing a large percentage of health care coverage in an unnecessary complicated and inefficient manner."  

Ostrander adds that most physicians, employers and patients favor a single-payer healthcare system… even with some misgivings.

Onondaga County Legislator Linda Ervin spoke at Thursday's hearing in favor of the bill
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Norma Helsper, a SUNY Cortland Professor, says the current insurance system is too complicated.  When she tried to get care for her mentally disabled daughter, she faced several hurdles from insurance companies.

"After she was admitted to to the behavioral unit at Cayuga Medical Center, our insurance company called every day to harass the doctor responsible for her care saying , 'this girl shouldn't be int eh hospital. she can't benefit form talk therapy.'"

The State Assembly Health Committee held a hearing today about the need for Universal Healthcare at Upstate Medical University.  Five others will also be held across the State in the upcoming weeks.