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WA & NY: Societies Oppose Government-Run Healthcare

Across the country, single payer and universal healthcare proposals are gaining momentum in state legislatures, including New York and Washington state. ASPS recently partnered with the Washington Society of Plastic Surgeons (WSPS) and the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS) to oppose proposals that implement government-run healthcare systems immediately in the Society's efforts to protect access to plastic surgery services.

In Washington state, the legislature introduced a bill that would require a working group to provide recommendations and prepare for the establishment of a state universal healthcare system. ASPS believes that universal healthcare systems and single payer systems cause stagnant economic growth and deliver poor quality health care to patients as evidenced by Vermont's failed single payer system and nationalized healthcare plans outside the U.S. ASPS partnered with the WSPS and sent comments to the Washington House Health Care & Wellness Committee and the full House of Representatives in opposition to the bill. After the measure passed the Senate, ASPS and WSPS activated two grassroots campaigns urging plastic surgeons in Washington to encourage their representatives to oppose this measure and prevent its passage before the legislature adjourns on April 28.

Since 1992, New York single payer legislation has been introduced in the state, but over the past four years the legislation has gained traction and secured passage in the New York Assembly. Last session, ASPS and NYSSPS engaged on four different occasions in the Assembly and Senate to oppose this measure. This year, the Senate Democrats have reclaimed the majority, increasing the threat that this proposal passes out of both chambers and is enacted into law. To prevent the New York Health plan from going into effect, ASPS and NYSSPS submitted a memorandum in opposition to the New York legislature in March rearticulating the societies' strong concerns with the cost of the measure and delays in care to patients should the measure be adopted. The House and Senate versions of the single payer proposal remain in their respective committees, but ASPS and NYSSPS will continue to be on the record in opposition of this measure and will work to defeat the proposal before the legislature adjourns in June.

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