Staten Island pols ask governor to skip surcharge on docs

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by Staten Island Advance

Staten Island GOP lawmakers have urged Gov. Eliot Spitzer to refrain from imposing a $50,000 surcharge on state doctors in order to aid the state’s malpractice insurers.

“While we applaud the initiative to seek solutions to the escalating cost of malpractice insurance, we strongly oppose this proposal and respectfully urge you to remove it from consideration,” Rep. Vito Fossella (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) and state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) wrote in a letter to Spitzer.

The surcharge proposal grew out of a task force created by Spitzer to find solutions to New York’s high insurance costs.

But Fossella and Lanza said the $50,000 levy would only serve to drive doctors, especially those who specialize in complicated and high-risk areas like obstetrics and gynecology, out of business.

“The practical effect of this proposal would be to limit access to healthcare in New York while literally forcing doctors to give up their practices or turn away patients who are most in need of care,” the lawmakers wrote.
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