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STATE | ASPS and NYSSPS: Oppose Single Payer System

In what has become a yearly legislative maneuver, the New York State Assembly passed legislation that would implement a single payer healthcare system. Along with the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS), ASPS engaged the legislature on four different occasions – submitting three letters in the Assembly and one to the Senate – voicing opposition to the bill.

Passage of the bill in the lower house has become a symbolic move, as this is now the fourth year in a row that the Democratic-led chamber has approved the measure. The Republican-led Senate has quashed any further movement of the bill each time the Assembly has messaged it over to the upper house. However, in September, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signaled support for establishing a single payer system – a move many critics believe signals his possible 2020 presidential run.

ASPS and NYSSPS oppose the creation of a single payer system and voiced concern over the impact of the proposed system to patient access to care and overall healthcare delivery. The societies also identified many shortcomings of the proposal within their comments to the legislature. The New York measure will institute a complete restructuring of the health care financing system, yet the state has not conducted an analysis of its fiscal or economic impact to date. The bill does not contain specific language on how provider payments will be affected, nor does it contain specific language on the amount of revenue it intends to generate or the proportional impact of proposed new taxes. While it does state that 80 percent of the new payroll tax will be covered by employers and 20 percent by employees, the bill fails to specify how much of the total program cost will be covered by this payroll tax. The societies believe it is imperative to determine how much will be covered by the new graduated non-payroll income tax and how much will be covered by "anticipated" federal funds.

The New York state legislature will adjourn at the end of this month.

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