Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the weekend pointed to the rise in the number of people registering for health insurance through New York’s exchange marketplace as he seeks to bolster his case for codifying aspects of the federal Affordable Care Act into law.
In the open enrollment period that ended Jan. 31, 4.8 million people signed up for insurance through the exchange, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.
The higher number comes as the federal government has ended the mandate that Americans enroll in a health insurance plan or face a penalty.
“We have achieved unprecedented progress expanding access to care in spite of the Trump Administration’s attempts to sabotage health care and dismantle the Affordable Care Act,” Cuomo said.
“In the face of the continued threats from this federal government, we must enshrine the protections of the Affordable Care Act into State law to continue our historic progress whatever happens in Washington. That is why this year I advanced legislation to codify the health exchange into law, prohibit ‘junk’ limited policies, and ban insurers from imposing pre-existing condition limitations so that New Yorkers’ health care is protected.”
Cuomo’s cheering of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, comes as Democrats in the state Legislature have re-introduced legislation late last week that would create a single-payer health insurance program for New York.
Cuomo has said he’s supportive of a single payer plan on the federal level, virtually impossible with Republicans in power, but is skeptical of the cost on the state level.
The governor’s budget proposal does include the creation of a commission to review how to achieve universal health care in the state, which would include private insurers have a say in the process.
“Thanks in part to the success of our health exchange, 95 percent of New Yorkers now have health insurance, and we will continue to fight to expand access to quality care to more New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in the statement. “New York is the alternative to Trump’s America. We believe health care is a right, not a luxury, and while this federal government tries to take us backwards, New York is moving forward.”