Readers Write: New York Medical Community applauds Gov. Hochul for protecting patient access

Readers Write: New York Medical Community applauds Gov. Hochul for protecting patient access
Medical Society of the State of New York

New York’s medical community applauds Gov. Kathy Hochul for her commitment to protecting patient access to New York’s healthcare system.

Physicians throughout the state – from OBGYNs to surgeons to cardiologists – agree with Gov. Hochul’s decision to veto well-intended but ultimately extremely detrimental legislation that would have exponentially expanded liability damages in wrongful death actions.

Her measured and pragmatic approach to this issue not only deserves praise, but it reflects a deep understanding of the state’s healthcare infrastructure and the need for collaboration when it comes to reform in this area of law.

The medical community understands the profound pain and loss experienced by families grappling with a death caused by the negligence of others.

Our hearts go out to these grieving families, and we affirm our dedication to providing compassionate, high-quality care for each and every New Yorker – from Buffalo to Montauk.

Unfortunately, the bill proposed by the Legislature would have had significant adverse unintended consequences for all New Yorkers, including community-based doctors and hospitals providing needed care throughout the Empire State.

It would have drastically raised the liability insurance costs for every physician, which are already the highest in the nation. This increase would have been particularly detrimental to doctors serving in underserved communities, further widening the healthcare disparity gap.

Hochul’s veto message rightly states that “every human life is valuable and should be recognized as such in our laws and in our judicial system.”

But modernizing the law should not mean passing a measure unlike any other statute in the country, especially one that poses risks to the financial stability of our medical clinics and hospitals – and especially those serving our most vulnerable populations.

As we move forward, the Medical Society of the State of New York stands ready to work with Gov. Hochul and the legislature to develop a balanced measure that provides additional remedies for grieving families, while also safeguarding the ability of our healthcare workers to deliver exceptional care without the burden of crippling new insurance costs. We must find a balance.

Our goal is to ensure that New York continues to attract and retain skilled physicians, maintaining our reputation for world-class healthcare. We are grateful to Gov. Hochul for her dedication to a balanced approach that protects the healthcare needs of every New Yorker. We look forward to collaborating and finding a solution that benefits all.

Dr. Paul A. Pipia


Medical Society of the State of New York

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