New York lawmakers are expected to hold a public hearing on legislation that would establish a universal, single-payer health care plan in New York State.
When it comes to affordability and access to healthcare, some state lawmakers said the status quo isn’t enough.
“We have a broken system on many levels,” Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy said. “It’s not just that we don’t cover everyone. It’s more that it is so costly. The most recent crisis in healthcare that we’re really hearing about these days is this exponential increase in the cost of drugs.”
Fahy says copayments, prescriptions and emergency room visits can be costly. She’s supporting a bill to create a single-payer healthcare system in the state.
“The goal is to try to do more preventative care to make that more accessible by being more affordable,” she said.
But, that will come at a price.
“Just as healthcare right now has such a massive price tag on it, costing consumers an extraordinary amount of money, in order to move to the system, it would take an entire tax overhaul,” she added.
Opponents of the bill said it would dramatically increase taxes.
“A little more actually than 95 percent of New Yorkers have access to health insurance so we would be trying to solve a problem for the remaining five percent, which we think there are ways to do it that don’t involve blowing up the current system,” Business Council of New York State President & CEO Heather Briccetti said.
Briccetti says the quality of healthcare could decline.
“In Canada, which is sort of the closest to what this proposal is, people have experienced extremely long waiting times to get sort of routine procedures,” she said.
A Rand Corporation study last year estimated the state would need to find another $139 billion dollars in tax revenue to pay for the program in 2022.