Small Business Victory Against Single Payer Healthcare

Date: July 06, 2022

Single Payer Healthcare bill stopped in New York

NFIB members and small business owners in New York saw a victory in the fight against single payer healthcare. The NY Health Act, which would establish a government-run, single payer healthcare system in the state, advanced through the New York State Assembly Health and Codes Committees, but NFIB’s and small business owners’ advocacy successfully kept the bill from receiving a floor vote in either the State Assembly or the State Senate.

“Lawmakers from across New York State heard the message loud and clear: $250 billion in new taxes and a healthcare system run by Albany bureaucrats is not the answer,” said NFIB New York State Director Ashley Ranslow. “Small businesses have endured unprecedented economic challenges over the last couple of years: from COVID-related state-mandated business closures and restrictions to rampant inflation, record high gas prices, and widespread labor shortages, Main Street is at its breaking point. Small business owners want good, affordable healthcare, but the New York Health Act would create a devastating and expensive system with the costs borne by hardworking small business owners. Many lawmakers heard the small business voice and wisely backed away from this legislation.”

NFIB launched a statewide radio and online ad campaign educating the public, elected officials, and small businesses about the pitfalls of the bill and the costs to taxpayers. Millions of New Yorkers heard and saw NFIB’s ads, and hundreds of small business owners contacted their elected leaders to let them know how bad the New York Health Act is for small businesses.

California small business owners saw a similar victory in their fight against legislation. Introduced last year, Assembly Bill 1400 called for making California the first state in the nation to institute a comprehensive single-payer healthcare system that would have precluded all others (private insurance, Medicare, Medi-Cal, Tri-Care). The California State Assembly Appropriations Committee estimated AB1400 would cost the State between $314 Billion and $391 Billion. The leader of the bill could not find the votes to pass AB 1400 and pulled it from consideration prior to the vote.

“Proponents of single payer health insurance often claim it is a pro-small business reform. Nothing could be further from the truth, and NFIB must be the voice of real small business owners on this issue,” said Manager of Federal Government Affairs Mitch Relfe. “Bad laws often start at the state level and are later imported to Washington. For that reason, stopping single payer in New York and California are critical wins for small business owners across the country.”

Small business owners continue to face the challenge of providing affordable health insurance coverage for their employees. Since the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) passage, for employers with less than 50 employees, the average employee-only premium has increased approximately 50% and the number of small businesses offering coverage has dropped to 31%. Despite these challenges, over 75% of NFIB members indicated they reject a single payer approach in a recent member ballot.

NFIB encourages Congress to consider innovative approaches to lower healthcare costs under the existing model of private health insurance. Along with protecting the health of their employees, small business owners use health insurance benefits as a tool to recruit and retain great talent. For far too many small business owners, providing health insurance is simply not affordable. But rather than focusing on private sector cost reforms, a government run system is often proposed as the only solution.

NFIB will continue to be the voice of small business by monitoring and opposing future single payer government-run healthcare bills that increase taxes and make providing health insurance more difficult, or impossible, for small businesses.

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