Health Commissioner Responds to Assembly's Health Care Proposal
Albany, May 28 -- State Health Commissioner Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D., issued the following statement in reaction to the Assembly's issuance of a press release on health care reform:
"I appreciate the Speaker's efforts to encourage discussions of health care reform. Because I have not seen legislation defining the concepts he has discussed today, I am unable to determine whether several crucial issues are being addressed.
"The plan gives only lip service to reforming the system by moving to negotiated rates. A payor will not choose to negotiate rates with a hospital without knowing how big a tax will have to be paid. Therefore, most payors will see little choice but to remain with State-set rates.
"The proposal ignores national statistics and reports on the oversupply of physicians in training. It makes no attempt to reform graduate medical education, which is desperately needed.
"The Speaker's plan maintains funding to hospitals to care for the uninsured without reform to direct funds to providing insurance coverage to individuals. It maintains sending dollars to hospitals to cover other operating losses.
"There is no clearly defined mechanism to collect the billions of dollars needed to support the Speaker's plan. And, further, the Speaker's proposal does not dedicate any resources to help hospitals refinance debt.
"In sum, there are some good ideas in this proposal. They are borrowed from Governor Pataki's Health Care Reform Act -- particularly initiatives for primary care and rural health -- and embellished."
5/28/96-63 OPAContact: Claudia Hutton, Director, Public Affairs (518) 474-7354
New York State Department of Health Posted 5/30/96