New York Assembly Sponsoring Historic Single-Payer Hearings

The Health Committee of the New York Assembly has announced that it will be hosting a historic series of six public hearings across New York state to receive testimony on the “New York Health,” bill which would establish a single-payer healthcare system for the state. Below is the announcement from the NY Assembly Health Committee, along with the dates of the hearings:

“New York Health”, a universal “single payer” health coverage bill, would replace insurance company coverage, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, limited provider networks and out-of-network charges. Instead, it would provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker, with a benefit package more comprehensive than commercial or other health plans, with full choices of doctors and other providers. The program would be funded by broad-based taxes based on ability to pay. It would eliminate the local share of Medicaid (which would become part of New York Health). The bill, A.5389-A/S.2078-A, was introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Senator Bill Perkins.

This series of public hearings around the state will review the effects and costs of the current health coverage system on patients, health care providers, employers, labor, taxpayers and health and health care. It will review how the single-payer system would work in New York.

The Campaign for New York Health – a coalition of organizations advocating for single-payer legislation in the state – is spearheading the grassroots campaign, and they’ve set up a new web-site here:

Schedule of Hearings (UPDATED):

Thursday, Dec.4, 10 AM
Medical Alumni Auditorium, Weiskotten Hall
Upstate Medical University, 766 Irving Avenue

Monday, Dec. 8, 10 AM
City Council Chambers
Rochester City Hall
“A” Building, 3rd Floor
30 Church Street

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 10 AM
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Hohn Auditorium
Research Studies Center
Elm & Carlton Street

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 10 AM
New York University
Grand Hall, 5th Floor
Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life
238 Thompson Street

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 10 AM
Nassau County Legislative Chambers
Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building
1550 Franklin Avenue

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 10 AM
Hearing Room B
Legislative Office Building


  1. tanya marquette on October 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Really good news here! Single Payer is a must as a first step toward a real health care system in this country–something we have not had in almost 100 yrs. Single Payer works and the world has demonstrated this with clarity.

    After getting a Single Payer system in place, the next step is to get the pharmaceutical corporations out of all decision-making. They have been a total disaster to health in this country. We may not be able to get rid of these toxic corporations under our current system of government, but we sure can take back control of our health, push them off center stage and begin to work on building health instead of pushing disease and managing symptoms.

    Single Payer would give us the structure to open the doors to all forms of healing and information systems that actually work for cure.

    I may not be able to physically attend these hearings, but will watch and participate from afar.

  2. Ms. Billie M. Spaight on October 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    How do I sign up to testify at the New York City hearing? I would very much like to tell my story to the Assemblypeople. Please set up a mechanism through which I can sign up and provide instructions for testifying.

    Many thanks! This is where we NEED to go. Then maybe I won’t have to immigrate to Ireland to get my medical needs met. And maybe I can get OUT from under my debt load.

    • Ben on October 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Great question Billie. The best way is to go to the “Tell Your Story” page of the Campaign for New York Health here:

      There are two links there: the first link lets you download the Assembly’s official “Public Hearing Reply Form,” which you can mail, email, or fax to the Assembly. The other link is a survey letting you tell your story to the Campaign organizers, who will then reach out to you to help get you involved.

  3. Madeline Shaw on October 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    This is the first logical idea in a long time. And what a boon to New York residents!!! This would finally put the welfare of our citizens ahead of insurance and drug companies’ greed.

  4. Steve Gaarder on November 16, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    It would be real boon for small businesses. I have worked for small companies and seen how much time and money they spend trying to get decent health insurance for their employees. Tell them that they would no longer have to do this, and they will become your most enthusiastic supporters.

  5. Keith G Laufenberg on November 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    There will be a whole lot of people moving to any state that enacts single-payer health-care, as soon as they find out it is free. One way to begin a serious dialogue. Everyone knows it is the only sensible system but most politicians aren’t at all sensible.

  6. Rebecca Elgie on December 6, 2014 at 11:46 am

    The Syracuse Hearing held on Dec. 4th was a success with 33 people presenting testimony including many health providers, and representatives from labor, seniors, farmers, business and a number of social agencies. Stories were poignant, clearly illustrating that people are still having incredible difficulty accessing health care even with the ACA and we still need not-for-profit health care for all. If you live near Rochester, Buffalo, NYC, Mineola or Albany please consider taking part in one of these hearings. Or submit written testimony or share your story. For more information go to

  7. david ross on December 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Single payer would be a real win win for taxpayers and local townships
    Who devote a huge portion of our local taxes to our local Medicaid share.
    Maybe we would save enough tax flats at the local level to fix our roads and bridges,or aging sewer systems and our out of date ele tricks grid on top of having more small businesses who could afford to pay higher salaries. Yes the benefits are huge and the downside is minimal!!!

  8. Clark Gronsbell on December 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I have real concerns about a single payer system. Its so easy to spend other peoples money…”It will just paid by a broad based tax” So easy to say and difficult to implement fairly. Medicare and Medicaid are riddled with fraudulent claims…just saw where Medicare was paying 2x RETAIL for ED pumps!!! Obama Care is imploding because some government wonk decided what a “Perfect” health plan would cover. Now we are all discovering that providing more coverage costs more and our rates have exploded again! OOOPS! When we have single payer and your claim is denied who you gonna call? You think Big Brother has his nose into too much of your life now? Wait until they tell how must live, eat, what you can and can’t do to keep your health insurance. Be careful what you wish for… There was a time if someone said “I’m from the Government, I’m here to help you”…you ran as fast as you could to get away. Now we stand there with our hands out and wonder what went wrong..

  9. bill shaver on December 18, 2014 at 4:01 am

    its about time, we need this…all states do, to be fair , equal…and prevent bankruptcies….

  10. bill shaver on December 18, 2014 at 6:45 am

    the so called arguments against single p[ayer..sad…talk about petty minded individuals …only worried about themselves…must not want to see a new society emerge…wait till they are bankrupt from unpaid portions of their HIGH dectductables or that their insurer wont cover their treatment because hospital treats them as an outpaient when they should be inpatent…or means testing eliminates them from medicare and cant afford premiums of so called heath insurance…same old old contemptable” They came on in the same old way & got shot down in the same old way”. Its time for all to think anew on this heathcare debacle…maby calling it ASSURANCE, meaning it’ll be there when you need it….

  11. Rich on January 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    I have worked for the same company for 27 years up until 7 years ago I had great medical coverage w/eye and dental coverage at a minimal cost. Fast forward to 2015 now I have no coverage for eye/dental and have a 2800 deductible in addition I now pay 100 more per week in payroll deduction 10% of my income GONE, this is more than my income increased over the same time period. PLEASE HELP US!!! My story is all to common today WE NEED SINGLE PAYER NOW!!!!!