Unions Support Legislation to Curb Excessive ER Charges

By RUDY OROZCO

DC 37 has joined the four of the state’s largest unions to call for legislation that seeks to protect patients from excessive hospital emergency room charges.

DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, 32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew and Civil Service Employees Association President Danny Donohue backed the legislation in a joint letter they sent to state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and other legislators on June 3.

The union leaders are pushing for the passage of NY S3171 (19R) / NY A264 (19R), which would protect patients from exorbitant costs for out-of-network emergency care, an issue they said “threatens to bankrupt working families.”

They said the bills — which have yet to make it to the floor in either chamber — could also help members fight for stronger contracts. The leaders noted that rising health-care costs limit funding for wage hikes and other improvements because so much of the money for contract settlement must be devoted to maintaining health coverage.

In addition, the leaders said the legislation would help establish a process to negotiate fair payments for excessive emergency care charges.

Please contact your state senator and reiterate your support for Patient Protection legislation. If you don’t know who your state senator is, please find out here: https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator.

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