The pandemic is exposing the weaknesses of the current healthcare system and why we must create a system that guarantees care for everybody. The New York Health Act (A5248a/S3577a) will provide comprehensive, universal health coverage — including long-term care — for every resident of New York.
We are current and future physicians of New York State.
Before the COVID pandemic, we were seeing patients needlessly suffering–unable to pay for medications, tests, and doctor visits, delaying treatment, and failing to address treatable illnesses. Now during this unprecedented public healthcare crisis, we are witnessing the consequences of the fragmented and unequal system of care: Black and immigrant communities are seeing the highest rates of death from COVID, millions of people are losing their employer-sponsored health plan just when they will need it most, and under-insurance continues to be a problem, especially for mental healthcare, dental care, and home care. And yet private insurance companies are posting record profits. We cannot remain quiet while the current health insurance system causes millions of New Yorkers to struggle with preventable illness and death.
We must build back better. We urge you to support the New York Health Act and replace private insurance with comprehensive, universal healthcare for every New Yorker.
Here’s how New Yorkers will benefit:
1. Comprehensive coverage. All residents, regardless of immigration status, will be covered for: primary, preventive, and specialty care; hospitalization; mental health; reproductive health; dental, vision, and hearing; long-term care and support services; and prescription drugs and medical supplies. It will be more comprehensive than commercial health plans.
2. Freedom to choose. No network restrictions. Patients will choose the doctors they want and make healthcare decisions with them, not with insurance companies.
3. Fair funding. No more premiums, deductibles, or co-pays. Universal coverage funded through a graduated tax on income, based on ability to pay. Healthcare costs will be reduced for 98% of New Yorkers. Most business healthcare expenditures will also be reduced.
4. Decreased administrative costs. No more paying insurance companies’ administrative costs and profits. No more time spent by doctors, hospitals, employers, and patients completing forms and negotiating with insurance companies. The total savings is estimated to be $45 billion. Healthcare will be accountable to the public’s health, not to insurance company stockholders.
5. Reduced cost of drugs and devices. Direct negotiation with pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers will bring prices down by as much as 40%.
Today, 25 states are considering single-payer legislation. New York is the closest to passing a bill. Make our state a national leader in pandemic recovery by supporting and passing the New York Health Act and enshrining health as a human right for all. Passing the NY Health Act has never been more urgent.
Bren Raleigh, MD; Physicians for a National Health Program, Buffalo Chapter
David Ray, MD; Physicians for a National Health Program, Capital District
Oliver Fein, MD; Physicians for a National Health Program, NY Metro Chapter
Sunny Aslam, MD; Physicians for a National Health Program, Syracuse Chapter
Bill Jordan, MD and Marc Manseau, MD; National Physicians Alliance
New York State Academy of Family Physicians
Camille Clare, MD; Manhattan Central Medical Society
Doctors for America, Mt Sinai
Students for a National Health Program, Downstate
Students for a National Health Program, Mt Sinai
*Add your organization to this list too by endorsing the NY Health Act here: www.nyhcampaign.org/endorse
*Add your business as an endorser of the NY Health Act here: www.nyhcampaign.org/business
P.S. If you are not a physician, we encourage you to call, email, and tweet your New York State Senator urging them to support S.4840, the New York Health Act.