While we appreciate Howie Hawkins' consideration of New York's employers in his commentary (Opinion on the web: "Single-payer would save N.Y. billions," Jan. 30), as the state's leading business organization we know that employee health costs are a top concern for our members.
Business Council responds to Hawkins' Op-Ed on Single-Payer Health Care
We are also keenly aware that a single-payer system would be an absolute disaster for our economy. This reckless plan would remove choice in health care, raise taxes by more than $200 billion annually, put hundreds of thousands out of work and guarantee that New York will be the least desirable state for business.
While the Assembly's single-payer bill is light on specifics, it is clear the proposed system would draw revenue from a gigantic new payroll tax (at least 2 percent on employees, 8 percent on employers and 10 percent on the self-employed). There is no effective limit on these taxes. The ramifications for employers, employees and consumers are almost beyond imagination.
The health care industry currently creates one in seven jobs in the state. A government monopoly on providing health coverage would lead, at minimum, to the loss of 175,000 jobs as these high-wage, high-value industries move. The downstream impact of these job losses, felt by vendors serving those employers and businesses patronized by the employees, would be extraordinary.
It is the private market and not the government that has been the leader in health data analytics, cost-of-care methodology and the leveraging of technology and information to bring patients more access to proper care. A single-payer system that replaces a free market with government bureaucracy will deliver worse health care at massive costs.
Heather C. Briccetti, Esq.
President and CEO, Business Council of New York State