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.

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Latest Work

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

In a replay of the notorious Pataki-Rivera deal of 2002, the Cuomo administration has quietly ordered a multi-billion-dollar Medicaid rate increase to hospitals and nursing homes, with the money earmarked to boost employee pay and benefits. Read More