State lawmaker reacts to Obamacare editorial

By Richard Gottfried
Lake Placid (N.Y.) News, Letters, July 9, 2015

Your June 18 editorial is right that the Affordable Care Act leaves a lot of problems unsolved, and calls for national single-payer health coverage.

But we can't wait for Washington. States have long been the "laboratories of democracy," and New York can be a leader by enacting the New York Health Act state single-payer plan.

It would save New Yorkers $45 billion by eliminating insurance company administration and profit; reducing health care provider administrative costs; and bulk purchasing of drugs and medical devices, while eliminating rising deductibles, co-pays, restricted networks, and out-of-network charges. It would eliminate the local share of Medicaid and drastically reduce property taxes. The savings mean that instead of rising premiums, we'll spend less through broad-based assessments based on ability to pay.

For years, people have said that single-payer is the only sensible way to finance health care, "but it could never happen." Now that the State Assembly has passed the New York Health Act, it's becoming truly achievable.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried chairs the New York State Assembly Health Committee. He resides in Albany.