Almost one in three New Yorkers would face higher costs under a proposed single-payer health plan, and half of the worse-off group would be low- or middle-income, according to a new report from the Empire Center.

The report highlights little-noticed data from the RAND Corporation’s analysis of the New York Health Act, which estimated 31 percent of New Yorkers would pay more for health care under single-payer.

Among those paying more would be almost half of the working poor – people below 200 percent of the poverty level – who already qualify for free or near-free coverage through Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan. Many beneficiaries of those programs have jobs, and if they pay even a small amount of payroll tax, they would see a net loss.

For New Yorkers with employer-sponsored insurance, the report estimates the income “tipping points” at which single-payer taxes would exceed current premium costs. For single workers with no children, the tipping point would be income of about $78,000; above that amount, they would typically face higher costs than they do now.

These are among the findings in “Do No Harm: The case against single-payer in New York,” an issue brief by Bill Hammond, the Empire Center’s director of health policy. The report summarizes how the New York Health Act would work and explores its likely consequences for the health-care system, the state budget, the broader economy and ordinary citizens.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank dedicated to promoting policies to make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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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.

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