What The Hail: Livery Bill Stalled By Battle Over Insurance Bucks

If the livery-hail bill ever gets passed, the sight of someone hailing a cab in Brooklyn could become more common (Source: WarmSleepy via Flickr)

A bill that would allow outerborough residents to hail livery cabs has been stalled due to a political fight over the proceeds from a major health insurer.

The city is currently fighting New York State over a percentage of the profits from when Emblem, the colossal company created by the merger of GHI and HIP, becomes a for-profit firm.

From the Post:

The deal has been authorized under state law and could throw off $1 billion or more to the government — funds desperately needed by both the cash-strapped city and the state.Bloomberg and city unions are laying claim to part of the windfall, arguing that most of Emblem’s enrollees are city workers and it’s the city that’s paying their health-care premiums.
The state is trying to determine if Emblem can be sold after it becomes private and quietly sought bids last week. But the auction was a bust because of uncertainties surrounding the city’s next move.

A source told the Post that the mayor and municipal unions have threatened to stop using Emblem as their leading health insurer unless they receive either a share of the profits or a guarantee of reasonable rates.

One insider involved in the livery-hail negotiations told reporters that all sides had reached an agreement which was to be announced last Wednesday, when “all of a sudden things fell apart with no clear explanation. Everyone was scratching their heads, including senators.”

A spokesman for Governor Cuomo released a statement last night, announcing a “summit” to find a solution to the inter-governmental stalemate.

The mayor and governor’s respective offices also released a joint statement to the media, stating that both New York City and New York State were “currently working cooperatively on several major issues.”

What do you think?

Would you like to be able to just walk out of your house and hail a car service? Do you think hailing livery cabs could cause more Manhattan-style traffic jams? Most importantly – do you think this bill has a snowball’s chance in hell of passing?

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