New York must be the first state to adapt a single-payer health care plan.

 The United States is one of only two industrialized countries in the world that don’t have universal health care (the other is Mexico).

In 2015, even with the success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), six percent of New Yorkers – over one million people — still had no health insurance.  The results of the 2016 election are sure to increase these numbers substantially as both the White House and the Congress insist on replacing the ACA.  The uninsured:

• are less likely to have a usual source of care outside of the emergency room
• often go without screenings and preventive care
• often delay or go without needed medical care
• pay more for medical care

This all results in more suffering, a higher death rate, and ultimately, greater social costs for a corrupt and inefficient system that enables huge disparities in health care access.

New York needs a constitutional amendment that gives the right to health care for all New Yorkers and that the system must be  a single-payer universal health care system for all New Yorkers. “Single-payer” means that the state, rather than private companies, pays all healthcare costs.  Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Health, has already proposed “The New York Health program,” which would provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker and would replace private insurance company coverage (see below).

What do you think?

• “The uninsured have a higher risk of death when compared to the privately insured, even after taking into account socioeconomics, health behaviors, and baseline health,” said lead author Andrew Wilper, M.D., who currently (as of 2009) teaches at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease — but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications.”

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There is no right to health care in the current New York State Constitution

• President Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to advocate for a national health system. There were some attempts to pass a healthcare bill during the Progressive Era, but they did not succeed.

• In the 1940s, to avoid World War II wage-and-price controls, employers began offering health benefits instead of raises.

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No states currently offer their own healthcare plan for all their citizens.  However, one state had their own system before Obamacare.


The state built a precursor to the ACA, “RomneyCare,” in 2006.  The program resulted in 97% of Massachusetts residents having healthcare.  The program ended with the advent of the ACA.

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2016’s States with the Best & Worst Health Care,” by Richie Bernardo, Sep 6, 2016.

Economic Analysis of the New York Health Act,” by Gerald Friedman, PhD, April, 2015.

Facts on Deaths Due to Lack of Health Insurance in US,” Obamacare Facts.

Here’s a Map of the Countries That Provide Universal Health Care (America’s Still Not on It,” by Max Fisher, The Atlantic, June 28, 2012.

Is Health Care a Right? Health Reforms in the USA and their Impact Upon the Concept of Care,” by Mahiben Maruthappu, Rele Ologunde, and Ayinkeran Gunarajasingam, Annals of Medicine and Surgery, February 5, 2012.

Mass. Ditches RomneyCare Exchange,” by Kyle Cheney, May 6, 2014.

Promoting Health as a Human Right in the Post-ACA United States,” by Andrea S. Christopher, MD, and Dominic Caruso, AMA Journal of Ethics, Volume 17, Number 10: 958-965, October 2015.

Single Payer Health Plan for New York,” By Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried Chair, NYS Assembly Committee on Health, May 1, 2013.

The State-Level Future of Healthcare Reform,” by Eric Schnurer, The Atlantic, April 10, 2015.

What is the Human Right to Health and Health Care?” National Economic & Social Rights Initiative.