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Policy Issues

Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs

Albany is poised to give away billions of dollars to wealthy drug manufacturers, increasing costs for everyone else through higher health insurance premiums. Legislation to restrict measures used to ensure the most appropriate drug usage at the lowest cost, such as step therapy (A.3276/S.5909), copay accumulators (A.1741/S.5299) or opioid abuse deterrents (S. 4532/A.4667) are a few examples that sound consumer-friendly but really put the interest of drug companies before the interests of New Yorkers.

Prescription drug costs continue to be the largest driver of health insurance costs. Many life-saving drugs have more than tripled in price over the past decade. Drug manufacturers employ “cost-saving” gimmicks that in reality are intended to line their own pockets and drive up costs for consumers. Throughout the pandemic, health plans took swift and aggressive action to ensure affordable and high-quality health coverage was accessible, while drug companies kept jacking up their prices.

Governor Kathy Hochul must protect consumers from out-of-control drug costs and veto these bills!

Legislative Memos:
S.5299/A.1241 – Co-Pay Accumulator
S.5909/A.3276 – Step Therapy
S.4532/A.4667 – Opioid Abuse Deterrent 
S.431-A/A.187 – Medicaid Prescription Synchronization

Burdensome Health Insurance Taxes

Taxes on health insurance have grown dramatically over the last 20 years – now totaling $5.2 billion. With employers responsible for a significant portion of the private health insurance premiums, the state taxes on private coverage are viewed as “hidden” business taxes. They are already the largest business tax that employers and individuals pay. PDF version

Increasing Hospital Costs


Hospitals divert primary care patients to health center ‘look-alikes’ to boost finances
Kaiser Health News
September 2022

Hospitals are required to post prices for common procedures. Few do.
NBC News
June 2022

One year on, hospital price transparency is still a work in progress
January 2022

Insurers pay steep markups for hospital drugs
November 2021

A Covid test costing more than a Tesla? It happened in Texas
Kaiser Health News
September 2021

How America’s top hospitals hound patients with predatory billing
June 2021

Some of America’s wealthiest hospital systems ended up even richer, thanks to federal bailouts
The Washington Post
April 2021

When Government Sets Hospital Prices: Maryland’s Experience
Manhattan Institute
June 2019

Hospital Revenue Surge Creates Haves and Have-Nots
Empire Center
March 2019

Hospital group, union blame Trump tax cuts for Cuomo’s retreat on Medicaid spending
March 2019

New York-Presbyterian faces backlash on pricing at council hearing
November 2018

NYC Council Hearing on NY Presbyterian Exorbitant Prices – 32BJ SEIU Press Release
November 2018

Fact Sheet: New York-Presbyterian’s High-Priced Hospitals
November 2018

How Much Should a Knee Replacement Cost? NYC Council Wants to Find Out
Wall Street Journal
November 2018

When Hospitals Merge to Save Money, Patients Often Pay More
New York Times
November 2018

Health Care Spending Under Employer-Sponsored Insurance: A 10-Year Retrospective
Health Care Cost Institute
September 2018

Behind Your Rising Health-Care Bills: Secret Hospital Deals That Squelch Competition
Wall Street Journal
September 2018

Why Are Hospital Prices Different? An Examination of New York Hospital Reimbursement
New York State Health Foundation
December 2016

The Price Ain’t Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured
The National Bureau of Economic Research
May 2018

Why Is U.S. Health Care So Expensive? Some of the Reasons You’ve Heard Turn Out to Be Myths
New York Times
March 2018