(Albany, NY) - On Monday, June 4, 2018, The Business Council released a statewide poll that highlighted the perception of 600 New Yorkers who are considered likely voters regarding the implementation of a single-payer healthcare system in New York State. Senator Rivera, the main sponsor of the NY Health Act in the New York State Senate, issued the following statement in response to the poll:
"This poll highlights what we already know - New Yorkers are not opposed to the concept of a healthcare for all, we simply need to better inform them about what such a system would mean for New York. That is made clear to me by the fact that 58% percent of those polled would like a system that gives all New Yorkers access to health insurance in an effort to reduce overall healthcare costs, which is exactly the goal of my legislation. The challenge of implementing an entirely new healthcare system in the State of New York is a daunting task. The concerns expressed by survey participants are important and highlight that we need to talk to more New Yorkers about the implementation of the New York Health Act, the fiscal benefits for families and businesses, and the type of health care that they would have access to under this system.
Additionally, the report released regarding the poll neglects to acknowledge a few factors that have the potential to affect New Yorkers' perception and ignores nuances regarding our current system and the proposed plan. For example, when it comes to New Yorkers' concerns regarding the fiscal implications surrounding the proposed bill's implementation, there is no mention in the report that an individual's contribution would be based on their income or that an employer would still be required to contribute a percentage towards an employee's coverage. The report also fails to question New Yorkers about, or mention, the projected savings such a system can have on our overall health care costs. We need innovative solutions that allow New York to negotiate lower healthcare costs for all of its residents, rather than a stratified system that treats healthcare as a privilege as opposed to a right. I look forward to a more robust, inclusive debate on healthcare for all when the leadership in the Senate changes and we can bring a transparent debate to Albany, rather than a politicized one."