NYAPRS Note: The following piece demonstrates growing Democratic support for Assemblyman Dick Gottfriend’s Single Payer bill, which is especially notable in the face of possible threatening legislation from Washington.
Mr. Gottfried told Politico: “Other state-run attempts at single-payer have flamed out. Vermont could not figure out how to pay for it. Colorado's efforts, which followed a ballot referendum, failed as well. California is the latest state that couldn't figure out how it would pay for its program. Gottfried said New York would be different.
"The savings a universal plan would produce are the only way New York can fill the funding gaps Washington may create," he said. "Unlike Vermont, California and Colorado, we have a financing plan that works, we have a more fully spelled-out plan, and we're not trying to pass it by a referendum subject to a multimillion-dollar insurance industry advertising blitz."
Cuomo Signals Support For Single-Payer Health Care
'I think that would be a good idea,' Cuomo says as he warns of next wave of GOP reformBy Matthew Hamilton Albany Times Union September 19, 2017
ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo signaled support of single-payer health care at both the federal and state levels on Monday as Democrats nationwide rally around the issue.
"I think that would be a good idea," Cuomo said on WNYC's "The Brian Lehrer Show" when asked about a federal "Medicare for All" system.
But single-payer may face a roadblock from Republicans who are weighing another effort to repeal the Obama-era Affordable Healthcare Act.
"I'm afraid (the Republicans) come back with health care reform," the governor added. "I think we're in the eye of the storm, where it's apparently quiet right now on health care. I think the back half of the storm is going to come around."
Single-payer — the concept that everyone chips in to cover "free" health care coverage when someone needs it — recently gained the support of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and is a point on which Democrats seeking office next year are touting.
Yet while federal legislation is going nowhere in a Republican-controlled Congress, New York Democrats have pushed for a single-payer system on the state level. The Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed single-payer legislation repeatedly in recent years. The GOP-held state Senatehas not taken up the issue.
Cuomo seemed open to single-payer on the state level, assuming that federal health care funding funneled to the state is maintained. He has bemoaned a proposal that would force the state to pick up the county share of Medicaid costs, lest it risk losing federal funding of an equal amount.
"If they were to pass it and it was not incongruous with what the federal government would do to us, I think it's a very exciting possibility," Cuomo said. "But I think it's going to be a federal play. Our funding system basically relies on Medicaid from the feds. If they turn off that valve or slow that valve, there is no way we're going to be able to make that up in this state no matter what."
It's worth noting that the state would have to raise an estimated $91 billion in revenues to fund a state-level single-payer system, according to Assembly sponsor Dick Gottfried, D-New York. According to Gottfried's bill, any revenue proposal would need to account for ending of local payments for Medicaid….