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As we inch closer to the end of the first legislative session of this two-year election cycle, our Legislators in Albany still need to hear from physicians. So What's At Stake?
VACCINES – The number of measles cases confirmed in 2019 has surpassed 1,000 nationwide. With a mortality rate of 1-2 deaths per 1,000 cases (and 1/4 cases requiring hospitalization), unfortunately it is only a matter of time before this epidemic turns deadly. We must demand immediate action in repealing the religious exemption (A.2371/S.2994) in order to help stop the spread of measles. Governor Cuomo has stated that he would sign the bill if it passed the legislature and it appears that the Senate has the votes to pass it. However, we need extremely urgent advocacy to help convince enough members of the Assembly Health Committee to vote for its passage. Anti-vaccine advocates continue to hammer their message home, calling non-stop and having their advocates send messages from children to try to sway members of the Assembly. We need to combat their false and harmful message. You can send a letter by clicking here. Watch the recent press conference here.
MALPRACTICE/LIABILITY – There are currently a handful of bills being advanced that would modify the malpractice system in New York and would negatively impact physicians by significantly increasing liability insurance premiums. These include expanding the scope of damages awardable in a wrongful death action (S.4006/A.5612), limiting a physician’s ability to defend themselves (S.6194/A.2370) and encouraging settlements which could greatly increase payouts (S.6081/A.2372). In particular, one actuarial estimate indicated that the wrongful death bill could increase premiums by as much as 47%! Physicians are encouraged to reach out to their elected officials to let them know how harmful these bills would be by clicking here.
MARIJUANA – A newly amended recreational marijuana bill (A.1617A/S.1527A) has been introduced that would legalize and commercialize recreational marijuana use. Additional legislation is pending (A.7467/S.5657) that would greatly expand New York’s medical marijuana program. MSSNY has continued to voice its opposition to passage of these measures due to adverse public health consequences that have occurred in other states that have legalized marijuana. Please reach out to your legislators and make our concerns known by clicking here.
SCOPE EXPANSION – Despite podiatry and optometry scope of practice expansion bills being pulled from legislative committee agendas last week due to physician advocacy efforts, we are not out of the woods yet. It is possible for these bills to return to committee at any point before the end of session so please continue to express your opposition. Please read more here.
MSSNY Political Action Committee; Physician Advocacy Liaison Network
99 Washington Avenue | Suite 408 | Albany, NY 12210
Phone 518-465-8085 | [email protected] | Text 914-933-7722