N.Y. Assembly Votes to Socialize Healthcare Coverage

ALBANY (AP) -

The New York Assembly voted 89-47 on Wednesday for legislation to establish publicly funded universal health coverage in a so-called single payer system.

All New Yorkers could enroll. Backers said it would extend coverage to the uninsured and reduce rising costs by taking insurance companies and their costs out of the mix. Opponents said costs would rise and the insurance industry would collapse.

With no patient premiums, deductibles or copayments, New York Health would pay providers through collectively negotiated rates. It would be funded through a progressive payroll tax paid 80 percent by employers and 20 percent by employees.

Also, waivers would be sought so federal funds now received for New Yorkers in Medicare, Medicaid and Child Health Plus would apply.

Assembly Republicans doubted Gottfried’s estimate of savings.

“All I can say right now I think this is the last thing New York state needs as far as an additional cost,” said Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, an Erie County Republican. She said they’re still trying to grapple now with the costs of the Affordable Care Act.

An identical bill hasn’t advanced in the state Senate and isn’t expected to before the legislative session ends in June.