Cornell University

Healthcare Transformation Project

16 East 34th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Contact: 212-340-2809

Providing Healthcare Services to Uninsured Residents of New York State

The goal of this project is to inform analysis of health care reform options for New York. In the current
political climate in which many states as well as the presidential candidates are putting forward agendas
to reform health care and health insurance, understanding the views of residents and employers is a
vital aspect of sound public policy formulation. Prior surveys have been conducted at the national and
state levels to assess resident and employer opinions related to health care reform. As examples, the
Kaiser Family Foundation as well as news media outlets have conducted polls of residents at the
national level, and a state-specific resident poll was conducted in New Jersey by Rutgers University.
Employers have been surveyed nationally and in Massachusetts by Kaiser/HRET surveys. In New
York, a recent poll by Community Service Society assessed resident opinions about health care
reform. But a coordinated inquiry of our scale has not been conducted for New York or other states that
we know of. In this report, we combine views on a similar set of issues from residents and employers,
from quantitative and qualitative components (surveys and focus groups) to paint a comprehensive
picture of New Yorkers’ views regarding health care reform options for the state.

Responses from telephone surveys suggest that the general opinion of New York residents is that public
coverage should be expanded to reduce the number of uninsured residents, and residents report some
willingness to pay higher taxes for such reforms. Residents view health care costs and the availability
of health insurance as very important issues that should be addressed by New York's government
leaders. Although they expressed caution regarding employer mandates, residents are open to a range
of possible solutions. Some common concerns with solutions relate to the role of government
bureaucracy and private insurers.

The majority of employers in New York agree that responsibility for providing health insurance rests in
part upon employers and in part upon workers who earn incomes above the poverty line. Those
employers that do not offer health insurance cite the high cost as the key factor in the decision.
Employers indicated that they would not stop offering coverage outright if a subsidized public plan
existed for some portion of their workers, but that the availability of such a subsidized plan would
change the way their compensation decisions, for example affecting their decisions about pay raises
and eligibility rules for employer sponsored coverage. 

Research showed that virtually all New York state residents view health insurance and health care costs as important issues that should be addressed by New York's government leaders. Findings also indicate they are willing to pay higher taxes to reduce the number of uninsured.

For the full report click here.

For the press release click here.