Bill Hammond

Senior Fellow for Health Policy

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

Bill has authored reports critiquing a proposed state-run single-payer health care system, documenting Albany’s excessive reliance on health insurance taxesanalyzing the pros and cons of “block-granting” Medicaid, and examining the regulatory missteps surrounding the collapse of Health Republic Insurance.

He also published numerous op-eds and contributes regularly to NY Torch, the Empire Center’s policy blog.

Before joining the Empire Center in 2016, Bill spent almost three decades in newspaper journalism, most recently as a columnist and editorial board member at the New York Daily News from 2005 to 2015.

Before joining the Daily News, Hammond previously wrote for The New York SunThe Daily Gazette of Schenectady and The Post-Star of Glens Falls. His work has also appeared in Politico New York, the New York Post, City & State, the Albany Times Union, The Buffalo News and The 74.

A graduate of Albany High School and Harvard University, Hammond lives in Saratoga Springs.

Latest Work

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a splash this morning by announcing a plan "to guarantee health care" for every city resident. Although his office called it "the largest, most comprehensive plan in the nation," the proposal appears – based on limited details provided so far – to be a relatively modest expansion of existing safety-net programs. Read More

If the entire Affordable Care Act were struck down as unconstitutional – as a federal judge ruled on Friday – the consequences for New York's health-care system, and the state budget, would be significant. Assuming the decision is upheld on appeal (which many experts doubt), and assuming Congress does not intervene, the state would lose almost $8 billion in federal aid that subsidizes coverage for more than 4 million residents. Read More

It’s hard to take Medicare for All seriously when its proponents keep saying deeply unserious things. The latest case in point comes from Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive firebrand from the Bronx. Read More

The New York City Council's vote of support on Tuesday for a statewide single-payer health plan showed curious timing from a fiscal point of view. Two weeks before, sponsors of the New York Health Act told union officials that they were changing the bill in ways that could cost the city billions of dollars per year. Details of these high-stakes changes won't be available until next month, yet Council members chose to back the measure anyway – effectively endorsing a blank check. Read More

The already extraordinary cost of a proposed state-run single-payer health plan jumped even higher this week when the chief sponsor, Assembly Health Chairman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, announced that it would be expanded to cover long-term care. Read More

In approving the $69 billion merger of CVS and Aetna, the state Department of Financial Services attached a noteworthy condition: The two companies must forward $40 million to the state of New York. It was the second time this year that the Cuomo administration has leveraged its regulatory authority over a health insurance company to extract a large sum of cash. Read More

The latest too-good-to-be-true argument for single-payer comes from Albany City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar, who claims that a government-funded statewide health plan would dramatically reduce property taxes. In reality, the savings for local taxpayers, if any, would likely be a fraction of what Shahinfar estimates. And they would come at the cost of the largest increase in state taxes that New York has ever seen, not to mention wholesale disruption of the entire health-care system. Read More

Industry lawsuits filed against Governor Cuomo's $100 million opioid tax, summarized in today's Wall Street Journal, are raising fresh questions about the levy's fairness and unintended side effects. Read More

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.