Claims that a state-run single-payer health care system would save money do not add up, according to an analysis released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy.

“The idea of having the state government take over delivery of health care in New York has been based on one very big assumption: that the state could do it for less money,” said report author Bill Hammond, the Center’s director of health policy. “Instead, it looks like the advocates are making rosy assumptions about their ability to control costs and to raise revenues. Private health plans have an important role to play in limiting spending, curbing fraud, and offering choice to consumers.”

Hammond analyzed claims made last month by Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, who authored legislation to enact a state-run single-payer system and said it would reduce health-care expenditures in 2019 by $45 billion, or 16 percent. Gottfried’s statements were based on a report prepared in 2015 by a University of Massachusetts at Amherst economics professor.

Hammond raised several concerns, including:

  • Gottfried’s proposed system would require $92 billion in new state tax revenue, more than double the state’s current annual revenue of $77 billion. The top income tax rate in New York City would more than double, from 12.7 percent to 28.7 percent.
  • Funneling all health-care spending through Albany would increase opportunities for corruption and mismanagement.
  • New York would risk becoming a magnet for people from other states seeking expensive care at no cost to them.

Hammond also notes that the State has been achieving savings by moving in the opposite direction, enrolling Medicaid patients in private managed-care health plans.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and do business.


You may also like

Hammond Submits Comments on Proposed Regulations for Pharmacy Benefit Managers

State regulators should drop plans to mandate a $10.18 "dispensing fee" for each prescription filled by a pharmacy, the Empire Center's Bill Hammond said in comments submitted Monday to the Department of Financial Services. Read More

State Budget Proposal Doubles Down on Reckless Spending, Empire Center Says

After Governor Hochul’s budget unveiling this afternoon, Empire Center experts offered their reactions to the latest framework. Read More

Spend, Spend, Spend: Empire Center Weighs in on New York State Budget 

After nearly a week’s delay, Governor Kathy Hochul has finally announced a budget deal. Though the legislature has yet to formally agree to most of it, she disclosed numerous specifics of the purported $220 billion deal. Read More

Budget 2022: New revenue fuels spending surge

The Empire Center for Public Policy offered the following reactions to the proposed 2022 State Budget. Read More

State of the State Reactions: Will This Bring New Yorkers Back?

The Empire Center for Public Policy offered the following reactions to Governor Hochul’s first State of the State address. Read More

Empire Center Previews State of the State: People are Leaving

Albany, NY — New York suffered a net loss of about 1.4 million residents to other states during the past decade. With those residents went businesses and jobs, perpetuating a cycle of loss for the Empire State. “The State of our Read More

NYS Reduced Funding for Public Health in Decade Before Pandemic, Expert Says

Sharp reductions in state funding for core public health functions over the past decade may have weakened New York’s defenses against the coronavirus pandemic, according to testimony delivered today by Bill Hammond, the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy. Read More

Report says NY hospital revenue increased by $14B

Revenue for New York’s hospitals increased by $14 billion from 2012 to 2016, according to an Empire Center research and data bulletin released today. Read More