ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Since the pandemic, New York’s health care systems have worked around the clock to fight Covid, but according to the Healthcare Education Project, New York’s top 10 insurers has turned the crisis into profits. A new piece of legislation could change that.
“Insurance companies are taking profits that are at record levels and taking that funding to other states, there’s something wrong with that. So what we’re doing is we’re rectifying it, we’re making sure that the profits that are being taken outside of New York State are actually taxed at 9.63% and re-invested back into New Yorkers,” said Senator Tim Kennedy, key sponsor for the Reinvest in NY Healthcare Act.
The Senator says with his legislation the taxed funds would go towards New York’s most distressed hospitals who have felt the impacts over the last two years.
Sam Suarez, a food service aid for Catskill Garnet Health, has had first hand experience with these impacts. “Through the pandemic its kind of crazy to see that we’re really reliant on, on our people, but it’s really hard to show them how much you know we appreciate that when ya know we just don’t have the funding or we just don’t have anything to say ya know ‘thank you’ with,” he said.
However, Leslie Moran, the Vice President of New York Health Plan Association opposes this legislation. She says it’s unconstitutional and in violation of the commerce and due process clause. Moran says the state already taxes health insurers to the tune of $6 billion a year, and this bill would unfairly double tax health insurers.
“We already feel that the taxes on insurance are already high, they’re too high, and there are sufficient taxes in the system and if we re-allocated some of those taxes to support some of the struggling hospitals that would be a better use of resources that are already in our state offers,” said Moran.
This is the first year this legislation has been brought to the floor. The sponsors of this bill hope to see it passed this session as a way to make New York’s health care system as strong as possible.