To the editor:
Health insurance providers seek an average rate increase of nearly 19 percent next year for individuals, and more than 16 percent for small group plans, according to published reports.
The chutzpah of this request is breathtaking. Health insurance providers have earned record profits throughout the pandemic.
Claiming inflation is causing their need to increase their premiums, they blithely ask the state’s financial services department for an increase more than double the rate of inflation.
It is time to spend our dollars more efficiently and stop supporting the profits of a byzantine number of companies, plans and networks. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, the United States would save $628 billion if administrative costs here were as low as they are in Canada with a single-payer system.
Some 20 percent of every premium dollar goes to administration, not to health care.
The New York Health Act would provide comprehensive care to every New York resident, and save billions in administrative waste. The plan would cover lifesaving reproductive health care.
One plan for everyone would deliver health care more equitably, and would be paid for more equitably by a progressive income tax. Currently, more than 50 percent of New Yorkers are “under-insured” because they simply cannot afford the premiums in a comprehensive plan.
It is past time to pass the New York Health Act. Keep this in mind when you vote in November. Support the candidates who support the New York Health Act.