Health Care Debate
May 25th, 2006

In New York State, almost 3 million people lack health insurance -and lawmakers in Albany are proposing two different ways to address the issue.

One proposal is modeled after the new law championed by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, which provides near-universal health coverage for citizens. The other, called Fair Share, requires companies to spend set amounts of their payroll on health insurance for their workers or else pay the state the cost of insuring them. (Read a Gotham Gazette article on both plans).

In the Daily News, Len Nichols, director of the health policy program at the New America Foundation, argues for the first. “The plan is built on the rock of individual responsibility,” he writes. “[It ends the] free ride some take by refusing to buy insurance, seeking free care when they need it and shifting their costs to others. And the poor aren’t left out in the cold.”

The Working Families Party, however, argues that the Fair Share approach is the best way to provide health coverage for workers. The WFP blog provides the testimony of half a dozen people and organizations who testified at a recent hearing on the bill.

By on May 25, 2006, 8:45 am
In category: Albany,Gotham City,Health | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Health Care Debate”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    May 25th, 2006 at 9:41 am

    Above a certain income level, the Massachusetts plan forces people to devote more of their income to health care regardless of their ability to pay.

    Above a certain employment threshhold, the WFP party plan forces businesses to devote more of their labor budget to health care regardless of THEIR ability to pay.

    Both plans make health insurance contingent on a relationship to a particular employer, increasing the level of indentured servitude that the health insurance system would provide. Neither would prevent our greedy health care industry from simply raising its prices by enough to make everyone’s health care no greater than before.

    The only good news: the WFP, because it contains no state subsidies, would not add to the existing practice of the healthy leaving NYC to avoid taxes for Medicaid, and the sick coming here to get treatments denied by their homes states.

    The real solution is an extension of a scaled down version of Medicare managed care, finaced at the federal level, extended to everyone, with Medicaid, the tax break for additional private health insurance, and other forms of health care finance eliminated. Everyone is equal, everywhere in the country, society guarantees the basics, individuals can decide to pay for more — without subsidy — if they choose.

    And it wouldn’t require much more federal spending. The federal government could get out of other buisnesses like transportation, housing, education, “economic development” pork, agriculture subsidies to offset the costs. States, which would save money by the elimination of the state/local share of Medicaid, and a federal subsidy for public employee and retiree health insurance, would finance those instead.

    Who could be opposed? Those who are making out under the existing mess. Including every interest that matters in Albany.

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