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Letter: Single-payer health care provides opportunities
Letter to the Editor by George Jolly, M.D.
Regarding the letter from Heather Briccetti, president and CEO, Business Council of New York State, "Single-payer system would be utter disaster," Feb. 7), I thank Briccetti for bringing the discussion of single-payer health care finance into the public eye with her response to Howie Hawkins' commentary (Opinion on the Web: "Single-payer would save N.Y. billions," Jan. 30). However, Briccetti's response includes serious errors.
Briccetti writes that the "plan would remove choice in health care." This is false. With a single-payer system, the patient has free choice of doctor, hospital or other provider. Insurance companies, for which there will no longer be choice, do not provide health care.
Briccetti writes the proposal would "raise taxes by more than $200 billion." This also is false. Assessments on earned and unearned income will amount to $92 billion. The largest financing will come from Medicare and Medicaid. Payroll assessments replace today's health insurance premiums. There will be no additional out-of-pocket expenses (co-pays or deductibles). In fact, 98 percent of New Yorkers will pay less for health care than they do now.
Briccetti also writes the proposal would eliminate thousands of jobs. Yes, insurance company jobs will be eliminated, but much of that talent and technology would find a place in the new system.
Briccetti does not address the business opportunities that would be created by lower health care costs for most employers and employees. There are valid issues to debate, but Briccetti's use of scare tactics and questionable information is not helping the conversation. New Yorkers should view the New York Health Act as an opportunity to plan for optimum use of our state's resources.
George Jolly, M.D.