Support Memo – S1157 Hannon/A336 Gottfried – ON SENATE HEALTH AGENDA

Support Memo

S1157 Hannon/A336 Gottfried

The New York State AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union members and their families, as well as our retirees and their families, supports the above referenced legislation.

This bill would allow doctors the ability to negotiate with large HMOs for issues that affect their ability to treat patients, their business operations and their own livelihoods. Without this basic right, independent physicians are powerless to challenge the practices of huge health insurance companies that offer “take it or leave it” contracts which almost always contain provisions which are not only unfair to providers but unfair to patients as well. These provisions can often limit a doctor’s ability to decide appropriate courses of treatment.  Without appropriate input from the doctor, these plans can result in health care decisions being made by insurance personnel rather than health care professionals.

This law will empower physicians to advocate for their patients, encourage competition among health care plans, and restore some semblance of fairness and balance in a marketplace that is increasingly and overwhelmingly dominated by one sector of the health care industry. Most importantly, it will enhance the quality of health care for all New Yorkers which is being jeopardized by the vast power wielded by huge health insurers with tremendous market domination.

Therefore, this Federation urges immediate passage.

For further information contact the Legislative Department at 518-436-8516.