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Hawkins Says New Health Study Reinforces Need to Enact Single Payer Healthcare

Hawkins Says New Health Study Reinforces Need to Enact Single Payer Healthcare

For immediate release: July 31, 2018

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that while the new study on single payer healthcare by the RAND Corporation underestimated the potential savings, it still documented the need for New York to enact the program.

“It is long past time to make access to quality healthcare a universal right in New York and nationally. As Governor, I will include the New York Health Act in my first budget proposal – something Cuomo refused to do last year after stating support for single payer. People will no longer have to worry about how to provide healthcare for their loved ones. It will also reduce costs for consumers and businesses,” said Hawkins, a long-time advocate for single payer healthcare.

The study found that total healthcare spending would be slightly lower in 2022 and growing to a savings of $15 billion annually by 2031 due to administrative efficiencies. However, the study underestimates by 50% the administrative savings that are possible, including reductions in administrative costs for providers. Assembly Health Care Chair Dick Gottfried said that the report also underestimated the potential savings from negotiating bulk discounts in drug prices.

Prior studies of a New York single payer healthcare system have calculated higher potential savings, including a study done by the Spitzer administration.

The RAND study also found that single payer healthcare would increase employment by 150,000 in the state.

Mark Dunlea, the Green Party candidate for state comptroller, led the effort to revitalize the state single payer movement in New York when he was Executive Director of the Hunger Action Network of NYS. Dunlea said he has unsuccessfully tried for many years to get the state comptroller to conduct a study of the savings from a single payer healthcare system, including ending the devouring of county property taxes by Medicaid costs.

Hawkins noted however that in California, legislative Democrats passed single payer healthcare each year when they knew that Governor Schwarzenegger would veto the bill. Once a Democrat became Governor, suddenly the bill could not make it out of committee. A similar scenario played out in Hawaii, where after a Republican vetoed single-payer, the Democratic legislatures has not passed single payer since a Democrat became Governor.

“Democrats have a track record of making promises to appease their activist base while winking at the powerful drug and insurance companies as if to say ‘not to worry’. We need candidates for Governor and state legislator to pledge to enact the New York Health Act, not suddenly discover after the election the need for further study or refinements if they actually have the votes to pass it,” said Hawkins.

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