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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Analyzing the impact of single-payer health care on New York's hospitals
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.
New York's hospitals have made seeming progress on reducing avoidable readmissions, but the state's performance on this key quality indicator remains among the worst in the country, new federal data show.
Claims about an "age tax" in the House GOP's health care overhaul are particularly misleading in the context of New York's insurance market.
Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon cited a lot of statistics in favor of single-payer health care in her debate with Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday, but most of them were confused, misleading or false.
For New Yorkers wondering whether a statewide single-payer plan would be feasible and affordable, the RAND Corporation’s just-published report provides only partial answers.
As the state awaits the RAND Corp.’s analysis of a proposed single-payer health plan for New York, the organization’s study of a similar plan in Oregon offers a potentially instructive preview.