Follow Us

Log in
Log in

Grieving Families Act must be changed before being considered again

February 12, 2024 12:46 PM | Anonymous

Letter to Editor
Times Union
February 12, 2024

As surgical leaders dedicated to ensuring access to care for all New Yorkers, we are compelled to respond to the ongoing conversation around expanding liability in wrongful death lawsuits. By vetoing the most recent iteration of the Grieving Families Act — a well-intended but fundamentally flawed proposal — Gov. Kathy Hochul showed herself as a true leader who is focused on protecting our communities and our health care system. While we acknowledge the potential benefits of updating the law, our primary concern lies in the way the bill was written and the unintended consequences that follow from such broad and subjective language. And while Hochul vetoed the bill last year, it will likely come up again in 2024.
Engaging Milliman Inc., a top actuarial firm, the medical community showed that this legislation will result in a daunting 40 percent increase in medical professional liability insurance costs. With New York state already burdened by some of the nation’s highest insurance premiums, this bill posed a severe threat to our health care system. Milliman’s findings were further supported by the state’s own Division of Budget, which estimated a staggering $214 million increase in medical liability expenses for state-supported hospitals alone.

As written, the vetoed bill overreaches and goes far beyond similar laws in other states and lacks essential guardrails. As conversations continue, our physician community stands ready to collaborate with policymakers to develop a more balanced approach that promotes justice without jeopardizing the stability of our health care system. We thank Hochul for vetoing this detrimental legislation and safeguarding access to care.

Dr. Jacob Moalem, FACS, is the president of the New York Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Anthony Vine, FACS, is vice president of the chapter.

About us

Uniting efforts to improve the quality of surgical practice in New York and care to surgical patients.

Become a member

Elevate your career and join your local Chapter today!

Contact us

New York Chapter American College of Surgeons
150 State Street, Floor 4, Albany NY 12207                         
Phone: (518) 953-5401 | Fax: (518) 514-1424

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software