Albany (March 7, 2013) – The state’s leading advocacy group for small business owners reacted sharply to a proposal by Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried to allow Albany to take over the entire health care system.
“There isn’t anything more alarming to small business owners than the prospect of career bureaucrats and politicians in Albany taking complete control of the health care system,” said Mike Durant, New York State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
Gottfried today floated a bill that would create a single-payer system similar to the European models that are notorious for endless waits and stingy coverage.
“What’s wrong with the current system is that it lacks competition and it imposes too many government mandates on private insurance,” said Durant. “A single-payer system would be a nightmare for New Yorkers and small businesses.”
Gottfried cited the law adopted two years ago by Vermont, which hasn’t yet been implemented and for which there is not yet a funding mechanism despite official estimates that the new system will require billions more in higher taxes.
“Our members in Vermont are terrified that the new system will rob them of the insurance coverage that they like and force them to pay substantially higher taxes,” said Durant. “Chairman Gottfried envisions a system financed on the basis of income. That means that the taxes would be squarely aimed at small business owners who pay their taxes as individual filers.”
NFIB was the lead plaintiff against the federal Affordable Care Act. Its members believe in reform, but they want policymakers to move in exactly the other direction.
“We need more competition, fewer mandates and fewer frivolous lawsuits,” said Durant. “Our members would be strongly opposed to a system that invests more power in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. And there would be nothing fair about or universal about a system that makes only some New Yorkers pay for everyone’s health care.”