Testimony in front of the New York State Assembly Committee Hearing

The single greatest thing the New York State Legislature can do to lower local property taxes would be to implement a statewide, single payer healthcare system. Healthcare costs take up 9% of our annual municipal budget. Implementing a statewide single payer system will not eliminate all of those costs, but we can expect to see the health care budget line decrease dramatically for all local governments. It then becomes the responsibility of local officials such as myself to make sure those savings are passed on to those we represent in the form of tax reductions.

Implementation of a statewide single payer system would have another significant effect on local municipalities. We’ve been told for years that New York State businesses are at a competitive disadvantage. Implementation of single payer will change that. New York businesses would find themselves on a level playing field with foreign competition, as the United States is one of the few countries with a healthcare system primarily paid for by employers. New York businesses will also have a leg up on businesses located elsewhere in the United States. As local businesses become more competitive, local tax revenues will increase thereby reducing the tax burden on property owners. As local businesses become more competitive, more jobs will be created for New Yorkers.

Implementation of a statewide single payer system will create a healthier New York. A New York that will be able to provide universal healthcare in the most cost efficient way possible as well as creating the environment in which our businesses can thrive.

A study commissioned by the Legislature and released in 2009 reported that a single payer system in New York would be the most cost effective way to provide healthcare statewide. It’s time to shake the cobwebs off the study and make New York State the most competitive state in the country.