Petition for NYC Comptroller Analysis and Report on the Impact of the New York Health Act on the NYC Budget

Health insurance and related benefits for current and retired New York City employees are a substantial cost to the NYC government, as highlighted by municipal retiree so-called Medicare Advantage proposals aiming to shift costs to retirees and the Federal government. Health insurance costs are a perennial point of  contention in contract negotiations between the City and the unions representing municipal workers.

It is widely recognized that a single-payer system of financing healthcare coverage saves money system-wide, and specifically for lower levels of government. National single payer systems internationally and in the United States (i.e, Medicare) produce reductions in healthcare expenditure for state, county, city, and local governments. Similarly, the New York Health Act, a New York State single payer plan, is projected to save money for New York county, city, and local jurisdictions. Savings would be primarily due to three factors:

  • Healthcare benefits savings to county, city, and local government jurisdictions in their role as an employer (e.g., police, teachers), as employee and retiree  healthcare would be  covered by the State under the NY Health Act

  • Elimination of county, city, and local government Medicaid expenditure  under the NY Health Act

  • Increased revenue for NYC public hospitals and clinics since under the NY Health Act all persons would be covered, so-called charity care for uninsured patients presently provided by the NYC public hospitals would be  fully reimbursed, and reimbursement rates for Medicaid patients would be  higher under the NY Health Act than under Medicaid. 

Analyses by the City of Albany Treasurer quantified these projected savings for Albany county, city, and school district, and Huntington, Long Island, showing a significant reduction in costs related to government employee and retiree health benefits.

Therefore: We, the undersigned residents of New York City, are asking the New York City Comptroller’s Office to conduct a fiscal/budget modeling analysis and report on the impact of the New York Health Act for the NYC government.

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