Phil supports single-payer health insurance.

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Medicare is a single payer system for our elderly.  It works, just like Social Security works.  Single payer health insurance is often called “Medicare for all.” 

“I came to this conclusion as the result of a learning process I went through in the course of serving in local government. As an Albany County Legislator, I saw that 95% of our County property tax went to pay Medicaid. No other State does that.

I saw that millions of dollars were being wasted on trying to stop Medicaid fraud, but not so much fraud was being stopped. The administrative costs of Medicaid are just too high. There just has to be a better way.”

In contrast, the County self-insured health plan, which is more similar to a single payer system, provided the widest array of benefits at lowest cost. Incidentally, Phil has been championing legislation that would allow all municipalities and school districts to join county self-insured health plans which would lower their costs and achieve savings for taxpayers.

The high cost of health care and post-secondary education is destroying the middle class. Serious reform, not just tinkering with the existing system is needed.  As a member of both the Assembly’s Health and Insurance committees, Phil is well-positioned to help the middle class and our businesses better afford health insurance.

"Businesses, like the one in which I am a partner, are paying a disproportionate amount of payroll for health insurance. Under a single payer system, those costs would be dramatically reduced."

A single payer health insurance system is the best option for the following reasons:

  • Medicare is a single payer system for the elderly. It has the lowest administrative costs of any health insurance system, public or private.  It spends ojnly 3% or less on administration compared to private insurance or Medicaid which spend 20% or more.
  • Since everyone would be in the single payer system, it eliminates most of the incentive for fraud. People commit fraud so they can get medical care they are not entitled to. If they were entitled to care, they would not have to commit fraud to get it.
  • Single payer is good for our international competitiveness. American companies compete against foreign ones who do not pay for their employees’ health care, because their governments take care of it, so their products are cheaper. In contrast, health insurance costs are an extremely large part of the labor costs of American business.
  • Single payer is good for small business. Our health insurance costs are skyrocketing. What we might pay for insurance in a single payer system would be much less (and might be zero since a tax on employers is only one of many ways to finance a single payer system).
  • Single payer facilitates reform of workers’ compensation, auto insurance, and personal injury litigation. The medical portions of these programs would no longer be necessary, and thus they would be less costly.
  • Single payer would reduce not increase governmental bureaucracy. Right now, we hire numerous governmental workers to police Medicaid and private health insurance. Single payer would operate just like Social Security, our most successful government program, which has an extremely small bureaucracy.

New York is a large enough State to have its own single payer program.  Governor Cuomo spoke of making New York a leader again. Here is a perfect opportunity.  That is why Phil co-sponsored, and the New York State Assembly passed the New York Health Act, a single payer system.  We need to urge the Senate and the Governor to enact that legislation and bring this dramatic change into existence.

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