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New study touts benefits of single-payer health care for New York; health plans disagree

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Research on a proposal for universal healthcare in New York says the benefits of a single-payer insurance system would reach beyond the economy. Advocates and opponents of the bill agree on that that note, but in very different ways.

If the New York Health Act were passed, it would eliminate the need for private healthcare companies in the state. Leslie Moran of the New York Health Plan Association says the bill's sponsor, Democratic State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, isn’t considering the job loss the bill would create.

“We’re talking about thousands, tens of thousands of jobs in the state that would be eliminated if he had his way and said we don’t need insurance companies, therefore we don’t need the people who work for them,” said Moran.

But the study, conducted by University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Gerald Freidman,says not only were those jobs considered, but there is an expectation of what would happen to them. The bill would provide a program for up to two years of unemployment benefits and job retraining.

Friedman said the savings from getting rid of private healthcare would lead to a development boom in New York that would wash out the job concern.

“Two hundred thousand new jobs will be created and those will more than soak up the unemployment created by displacing people,” Friedman said.

The bill still needs to garner more attention in the capitol, something Gottfried is convinced the results of the study will help with.

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