Medicare spends just 2 percent of its budget on operating expenditures. Private insurance spends as much as 17 percent – and takes a big profit on top. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, private insurance company profits have skyrocketed. That's money that should be going to patient care.
A single-payer system will save money. Data from the RAND Corporation shows that NYHA would have saved New York more than $11 billion in 2022, all while covering everyone, including long-term care residents, and eliminating deductibles and copays for patients. 90% of New Yorkers would see substantial savings in their health care. Getting rid of insurance company bureaucracy and profits would save New Yorkers billions of dollars every year.
A single-payer system will keep hospitals open for care. From central Brooklyn to the North Country, community hospitals are struggling to survive. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are at risk of losing access to care in their community. Private hospital systems are also increasingly cutting essential but less profitable services such as inpatient mental healthcare and labor and delivery services, which puts a strain on patients and communities. A single-payer system would help hospitals meet the healthcare needs of their communities.
A single-payer system is the only way to put patients before profits. Every day, as many as three New Yorkers die needlessly due to lack of health coverage. Insured New Yorkers suffer too. The fees charged by private insurers have risen by over 50 percent in the last 5 years throughout the state. Nationwide, one-third of patients with insurance go without prescribed medicines or fail to get necessary medical care every year because of high deductibles and co-pays. The only people the current system benefits are insurance companies and their CEOs.