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Letter: New York Health Act is smartest way to go

New York Health Act is smartest way to go

Republicans in Congress have made dismantling our already fragile health care system a top priority for 2017. President Trump signed an executive order starting the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act on his first day in office with scant – if any – plans for an adequate replacement. Rep. Paul Ryan has been champing at the bit to privatize Medicare for years. And now that they have control of the House, the Senate and the presidency, the Republicans’ dream of a profits-over-people health care system for all has never been closer to reality.

We in New York State have a unique opportunity to both protect ourselves from the coming chaos and implement a system that works for everyone. The New York Health Act, which passed in the Assembly in 2015 and 2016, would provide universal single-payer health care coverage to all New Yorkers without exceptions. No premiums, no deductibles, no copays, funded by a progressive tax on taxable income. A study by the UMass Amherst Economics Department shows that 98 percent of households in New York would pay less money for better coverage than what they get with private insurance. You pay based on your ability to pay, not based on what a for-profit insurer thinks it can squeeze you for. This is a godsend in an age where insurance premiums and deductibles are skyrocketing.

We deserve a system that works for us. Not for insurers. Not for investors. For us. The New York Health Act is the way to go.

Eric Lingenfelter

North Tonawanda

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