State Academy of Family Physicians Calls on NYS to Make Systemic Reforms to its Healthcare System to Truly Close the Coverage Gap

By James Mumford, MD, President of NYSAFP | January 27, 2022

“The New York State Academy of Family Physicians (NYSAFP) applauds the efforts of Governor Hochul and the State Legislature to further close the coverage gap for those who remain uninsured and underinsured in New York State.  But today we also call on NYS leaders to implement the comprehensive system reforms necessary to truly close these gaps by enacting the New York Health Act to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to high quality and meaningful healthcare coverage.”

“In the SFY 2023 Executive Budget, Governor Hochul includes a number of proposals to expand coverage under Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan to expand eligibility for the programs, extend postpartum coverage to twelve months and expand the benefits included under Child Health Plus. At the same time, there are individual bills that have been introduced in the State Senate and the Assembly to expand coverage for low-income and immigrant New Yorkers. While NYSAFP supports these proposals, by their very nature they illustrate the continued piecemeal approach New York policymakers have tolerated to provide access to health care for New York residents.”

“Unfortunately despite many recent coverage expansions, many New Yorkers remain uninsured or underinsured without coverage that is affordable, accessible and comprehensive to cover their needs. The prevalence of high deductible plans and other insurance products that shift more costs onto patients, has led to many individuals putting off needed care out of fear that they will not be able to afford it.  These disparities have only intensified and become more apparent with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Instead, we need New York State to take bold action to transform our healthcare system to ensure universal health coverage for all, regardless of income, occupation, location or health needs. As the first NY physician society to endorse a single payer model, we call on our leaders to pass the New York Health Act (A6058/S5474) this session to ensure high quality healthcare for all New Yorkers.”

NYSAFP represents over 7,000 physicians, residents and students in family medicine across the State. NYSAFP Family Physicians are board-certified and specialize in family medicine. Family physicians focus on the whole patient providing care throughout their lifetime.  They provide comprehensive healthcare services to treat diseases and injuries in all age groups from newborns to the geriatric population and across all medical fields. Family Physicians focus on prevention, wellness and overall care coordination for patients and family medicine is the only specialty to focus on the care of the entire family unit. Family Physicians are also a main source of primary health care in New York and across the country.