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Contributing to costly care: Health-care spending is rising in New York; don’t wonder why


Albany takes health industry donations, helps hike health-care costs. (Hans Pennink/AP)

As The New York Times pointed out last week, since 2014 the Greater New York Health Association’s in-house lobbyist, David Rich, has given more than 200 contributions totaling a hard-to-fathom $900,000 to Albany politicians of both parties.

The lobbyist defends himself by saying his personal contributions “reflect my passion for, and participation in, the political process.”

Right. Quite obviously, a steady stream of dough from hospital representatives, on the one hand, and the health-care workers union 1199SEIU, on the other, is a prime reason reason the industry remains largely untouchable in the state Capitol.

It just so happens that in the second half of 2018, GNYHA donated more than $1 million to the State Democratic Committee. Days before Election Day, the governor approved Medicaid rate increases to state hospitals and nursing homes.

Is it coincidence that New York now ranks eighth in state per-capita health-care costs, after spending here grew at a rate of 6.2% from 2013 to 2017, well above the 3.9% national average?

Albany need to diagnose and control that spending spike, and prove that taxpayer dollars speak louder than millions in special-interest donations.