Raia: Free-Market Health Care Is The Smart Choice For New York

June 23, 2011

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C – East Northport) today stood up to an essential part of ObamaCare’s federal takeover of New Yorkers’ health care by opposing its proposed health insurance exchange program and individual mandate provisions.

The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as ObamaCare, requires uninsured individuals to obtain health coverage by 2014. States are required to pass legislation that would create health insurance exchanges where individuals can purchase mandatory health coverage and benefits.

“I cannot justify giving a blank check to Albany to spend exorbitant amounts of taxpayer dollars to usher in ObamaCare’s era of government control of health care decisions,” said Raia. “The federal government’s health insurance exchange will cost our taxpayers $65 billion alone in Medicaid costs over the next 10 years. This is not the cure for health care in the Empire State.”

Raia also observed that, in recent survey results of his Assembly District, 84 percent of constituents opposed ObamaCare.

“New York State already has some of the most comprehensive subsidized health care programs in the country,” said Raia. “With programs like Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, and the nation’s most generous Medicaid benefits, ObamaCare would be an unnecessary and extravagant unfunded mandate imposed on our hardworking taxpayers and small businesses.”

Federal bureaucrats are planning an active-purchaser model for uninsured New Yorkers, which would decide which plans could be sold on the exchange according to a strict set of government guidelines.

“What we need to do is throw out the health insurance exchanges, the individual mandates, and other dictates from federal government planners,” said Raia. “We should provide individuals with real choice. Let’s give tax credits to families and individuals so that they can make their own decisions about what health coverage suits their needs.”

Raia also noted that there would be savings in the long run if we do not adopt the federal mandate.

“We need to live within our means as a state,” said Raia. “I cannot vote for something that will put New York State in another financial mess.”