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The Empire

Long and short-term impacts of the health legislation on NYS

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The federal health care legislation that President Obama helped steer through Congress is now heading for a long, contentious legal fight. The latest step in that direction was a federal judge ruling part of it unconstitutional.

The legislation is something of a mixed bag for New York State, as governor-elect Andrew Cuomo described in one of the policy books he released during the campaign:

The recently enacted federal health reform legislation may prove helpful to New
York in gaining control over the runaway growth in health insurance costs in the long run, but in the short run, the new law threatens to actually increase the cost of insurance for many businesses—a risk the Cuomo Administration will work to counteract. One direct measure the Cuomo Administration will take to help protect businesses is to ensure that insurance carriers do not raise health insurance premiums beyond a level warranted by the risks they
are insuring. The Cuomo Administration will also rigorously enforce the new State law that gives the State Insurance Department prior approval over health insurance premium increases to ensure that any such increases are warranted. We will also aggressively pursue new federal subsidies that can reduce the cost of health insurance for many small businesses with 25 or fewer employees.

I've reached out to a spokesman for the governor for comment on the court decision, and will update when it's received.