Solving the healthcare problem: Massachusetts vs. New York

  • Publication Date: April 2006

  • Topics: Health Care

Washington, DC – While the country works to solve the healthcare problem, both Massachusetts and New York have proposed very different solutions to reduce the number of uninsured in their states. While Massachusetts’ proposal is designed to seriously tackle the problem of the uninsured, New York’s is not only largely ineffective, but will cost up to 100,000 jobs.

Massachusetts’ proposal, signed into law today by Governor Mitt Romney, mandates that individuals buy health insurance, much the way they do car insurance. Provisions in the legislation will provide a market-based approach to healthcare that aims to make insurance more affordable for all.

New York’s “Fair Share for Healthcare Act” attempts to increase individual healthcare coverage through costly mandates on businesses. This proposal would ultimately cost up to 100,000 jobs and impose as high as a $9.2 billion hit to business. This still leaves 83% of the uninsured without coverage.

Illustrating the devastating impact of employer-provided healthcare mandates is an EPI-sponsored study conducted by University of Kentucky Economist Dr. Aaron Yelowitz. His study found that while only 17% (466,000) of New Yorkers in need of healthcare coverage would be affected by the bill, businesses will be forced to pay for what is essentially redundant coverage for over 586,000 currently insured New Yorkers.

Furthermore, as a result of the poor targeting of the mandate and considerable fees associated with millions of already insured employees, the cost per newly insured employee could be as high as $19,617 a year.

“It’s obvious that trying to remedy the healthcare crisis through employer mandates does little to address the problem of the uninsured,” said John Doyle, of the EPI. “While the jury is still out on Massachusetts’ revolutionary new plan, its effort to create a more affordable healthcare market is certainly a better approach than New York’s employer mandate, which will cost jobs and is largely ineffective.“

To read the study, “The Impact of the ‘Fair Share for Health Care Act’ on New York’s Labor Market,” visit www.EPIonline.org/studies.