STATE | ASPS and the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS) Coordinate to Oppose Single Payer Legislation & Negative Medical Malpractice Reforms
On May 17th, the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS) held its annual lobby day. NYSSPS advocated on a number of issues including opposing: 1) lengthening the statute of limitations in New York medical malpractice cases; and 2) the creation of a single payer healthcare system in New York. ASPS supported NYSSPS' efforts by lobbying the New York State Legislature to vote against the single payer bill and to vote against legislation lengthening the statute of limitations. ASPS also coordinated grassroots outreach with ASPS's Members in New York.
Single Payer Health Care System
The New York State Legislature is reconsidering a bill this year that would create a single payer health care system in New York, the New York Health Act. Last year, this bill passed in the Assembly and died in the Senate. The Assembly is again attempting to move this bill. The New York State Assembly Committee on Codes recently voted to advance the New York Health Act by a 12-7 vote despite opposition from ASPS and NYSSPS. ASPS is working with NYSSPS to oppose this bill to ensure that it meets the same fate it did in 2015. ASPS's and NYSSPS's comments outlined our chief concerns with the bill, most notably that the underlying economics of how New York would pay for a single payer system is not sufficiently outlined, a fact that ASPS and NYSSPS believe clouds its potentially devastating impact on taxes.
NYSSPS and ASPS also undertook a coordinated advocacy strategy – including a $10,000.00 ASPS State Advocacy Grant to support NYSSPS opposition – targeted at defeating legislation proposed in New York that, if passed, could quadruple the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. Specifically, this legislation proposes to lengthen the amount of time a patient has to file a medical malpractice action. . ASPS and NYSSPS directed comments to the legislature outlining that the overhead that New York physicians pay for medical malpractice insurance is staggeringly high and is among the highest in the country. In spite of that, this legislation threatens to increase medical malpractice liability insurance by as much as 15% in New York. Additionally, ASPS and NYSSPS expressed that the New York medical liability system is in dire need of reform. The joint comments were sent to every member of the New York legislature, and grassroots efforts resulted in ASPS's New York members sending an additional 53 letters to their local legislators.
ASPS and NYSSPS will continue to work together to advocate on these issues during New York’s legislative session which is scheduled to run through January 2017.