ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Legislators from the New York State Senate and Assembly gathered Thursday at University of Rochester to hear testimony for the New York Health Act, a bill that aims to bring single-payer health care to the state.
The bill would create a health care system operated by New York State, at a cost one study from the RAND Corporation estimates at $130 billion, which factors in the new combined payroll and non-payroll tax introduced by the bill.
State Assemblyman Harry Bronson from the 138th district, as well as State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, both from New York City, spoke in support of the bill.
“We’re here today to tell everybody that we need the health care that we have to be universal, said Becca Forsyth, an advocate who spoke at a press conference before testifying. “Everyone needs to be able to have access to affordable care.”
Some activists came to U of R to voice their opposition to the bill.
“If you add a payroll tax of the proportions that this bill is calling for, that is going to put businesses out of business,” said Greg Biryla, the New York State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business advocacy group. “Plain and simple.”
The hearing at the University of Rochester was the second in a series of regional hearings.