This is a rare yet earned post.
I'm separating this from the political thread as I can't see this being controversial.
First, the NY State Assembly has passed a budget on time for the third year in a row. This is a major change from past years, as the budget has at times run well into the summer without passage.
Secondly, it includes long overdue consumer protection from the shell game played by medical providers and insurance companies.
I have dealt with this issue for years. You go to an ER, or schedule surgery, and one piece of the medical bill is covered under the PPO section of your insurance, yet a nurse, or an attending doctor, anesthesiologist, or other provider, is a contractor to the hospital, not an employee, and as such isn't a part of the PPO coverage.
The NY State Assembly and the governor have taken steps to change this:
Protecting Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills: The Budget includes landmark changes designed to protect consumers against the financial nightmare of surprise medical bills from out-of-network physicians. Most importantly, it takes the consumer out of the middle of billing disputes between out-of-network medical physicians and health insurers, and holds the consumer harmless from out-of-network costs in the case of emergencies and surprise bills. The agreement also holds insurers accountable for building and maintaining robust provider networks, so consumers have sufficient in-network health care options. It also incorporates new disclosure requirements aimed at helping consumers identify whether providers are in their network, which will reduce incidents of surprise bills.
Kudos to both the NY State Assembly, the governor, and in particular my Assemblyman, Cliff Crouch, for including this in the budget. Also, Kudos to Assemblyman Crouch for rapidly responding to questions from a constituent.