A Miracle in Albany

We experienced nothing short of a miracle this week. The mission that once seemed impossible to achieve was accomplished when Governor Hochul vetoed the wrongful death bill late Monday night, highlighting her concerns about the impact of the legislation, as written, to the health care system.

On the heels of a near unanimous, bipartisan floor vote of the entire New York State Legislature, physicians came together in unprecedented numbers to help preserve patient access to New York’s healthcare system.  MSSNY advocated together with many other allies, to raise our great concerns with this legislation that would have exponentially increased awards in wrongful death actions and make our already exorbitant liability costs simply unaffordable. Together, more than 5,800 individuals sent nearly 14,000 emails, over 1,400 tweets and made thousands of calls. And it worked. Our grassroots efforts resulted in a veto.

How did this miracle happen? We worked together to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Understand the issue and create a sense of urgency
  • Design a clear vision and a solid plan
  • Design smart and actionable tasks
  • Build a strong alliance
  • Create effective communication and feedback
  • Enlist the power of persuasion
  • Work to change people’s minds and attitudes
  • Stay calm and be creative, adaptable, flexible, hopeful, and optimistic

“The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

There are many to thank for their unwavering efforts in achieving this outcome: Stav Savelidis and the Federation of MSSNY Executive Directors; the leadership of our county medical societies; our dedicated MSSNY staff, including Senior VP & Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster and his team, and Communications VP Julie Vecchione and her team; and the efforts of MLMIC, specialty societies and numerous other groups who shared our concerns about the profound negative impact to patient care delivery with this bill.

The story does not end here.  Given the heightened interest in this legislation, and the Governor’s offers of compromise in both her veto message and her New York Daily News op-ed, this issue is far from being over.  Physicians should now turn to advocating to their Assemblymembers and Senators about the need for balance, to ensure that any proposal to provide new legal remedies for grieving families does not also harm our already struggling healthcare delivery system.

In honor of Women Physicians Day today, I want to thank MSSNY’s women physician members and acknowledge their tireless efforts every day to care for their patients and advance the practice of medicine.


And finally, as we head into February, we celebrate Black History Month. Check MSSNY’s social media accounts as we honor both MSSNY members and Black American pioneers who changed medicine throughout our country’s history.

Categories: PulsePublished On: February 3rd, 2023Tags: , ,


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