New York Assembly votes in favor of universal health coverage News
New York Assembly votes in favor of universal health coverage

The New York Assembly [official website] voted 89-47 on Wednesday in favor of legislation [A05062 materials] establishing publicly funded universal health coverage in which all New York residents may enroll. Supporters of the legislation said that the coverage would be extended to the uninsured [AP report] and costs would be reduced by not involving insurance companies. New York Health would pay providers through collectively negotiated rates and patient premiums, deductibles or co-payments for hospital and doctor visits, testing, drugs or other care would be eliminated. The universal health coverage plan would be funded through a progressive payroll tax paid 80 percent by employers and 20 percent by employees. However, Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon said that “the bill still faces two major hurdles, resistance from senior citizens to giving up Medicare for a new state program and obtaining federal waivers to apply Medicaid and Medicare funding to support it.”

Federal health care reform [JURIST feature] has caused continued debate and legal action since it was passed in 2010. In March the US Supreme Court [official website] declined [JURIST report] to hear a challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s Independent Payment Advisory Board provision. Earlier in March the Supreme Court heard [JURIST report] oral arguments for King v. Burwell in which the court has been asked to rule on whether the Internal Revenue Service [official website] may adopt regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through the federal health insurance exchange established under the ACA. Last June the court ruled [JURIST report] in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that closely held corporations can deny contraceptive coverage to their employees for religious reasons.