The Case Against AlbanyCare: Why A Single-Payer Health Plan Would Be Wrong For New York

New York, like the country as a whole, is clearly not getting its money’s worth for health care. Despite spending more per capita than any other country, the United States ranked dead last in a Commonwealth Fund comparison of health-care systems in 11 developed nations. But putting all or even most of the blame for that dysfunction on the existence of private health insurers is not consistent with the study’s findings. Single-Payer Albanycare would greatly expand the share of the state’s economy controlled by Albany, thereby multiplying opportunities for corruption. It would establish a system of price control—with the Health Department setting fees for every test, procedure, office visit, and surgery performed within state borders—which would inevitably distort the balance of supply and demand. If the goal is achieving good health outcomes at a more affordable price, Switzerland’s model, which harnesses rather than eliminates market competition, is the better one to follow.

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