Earlier this year, California proposed a statewide single-payer health care system. It would essentially provide free health care for all residents, eliminating health care fees in exchange for higher taxes. Medical expenses for all residents, regardless of income level, health, or immigration status, would be covered.
Under this “single-payer” model, health care funding will derive from employer taxes and Medicare and Medicaid funds. Lawmakers are still concerned about the tax increase and whether or not it will work statewide.
A few days ago, New York jumped ahead of California by passing a similar bill through the New York State Assembly. In response to the passing of the American Health Care Act in the House of Representatives, Manhattan Assemblyman Richard Gottfried introduced a single-payer health care plan similar to California’s. The bill aligns with democratic views and the New York State Senate is Republican-lead, so there is a chance that the bill won’t go any further than this.
The NYS bill would leave residents with no co-pays, out-of-pocket costs, deductibles, or network restrictions. Those costs would have to come from somewhere, though, so taxes would likely increase. Gottfried suggests that health care would ultimately be cheaper this way because those extra taxes would in no way match the ridiculously high costs of health care.
You may have heard this idea of a single-payer system referred to as “Medicare For All,” courtesy of former Presidential Candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, as Medicare is the closest thing we have to compare a single-payer system to.
This may lead health care providers to lower their costs as they’ll no longer be forced to give out nearly free care that they aren’t reimbursed for. It also means that care quality may increase as care costs are equalized. It also eliminates lengthy paperwork and time spent discussing billing methods, allowing for quicker access to care.
This sounds a lot like Bernie Sanders’ plan. It didn’t work in Vermont, but New York is more populated and more financially stable.
Check back for here updates on the proposed single-payer systems as well as other news in health care laws and regulations.