Senator Gustavo Rivera Joins the Community Service Society to Urge Governor Hochul to Sign the First of His Bills to End Medical Debt

(Bronx, NY) - Today, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the Senate Health Committee, released the following statement on the Community Service Society’s (CSS) latest report on the impact of medical debt and the steps we need to take to end the predatory practices associated with medical debt in New York State. The report highlights Senator Rivera’s package of bills aimed at addressing and protecting New Yorkers from medical debt, including bill S.6522A/A.7363A, which would prohibit healthcare providers from placing home liens on an individual's primary residence or garnishing wages to collect on medical debt. The bill passed the Legislature in May and is waiting to be sent to the Governor to be signed into law.  

“The Community Service Society’s final report in their medical debt series clearly highlights how critical my bill is to ensure New York patients are protected from liens against their primary residences and wage garnishments in predatory debt collection actions. New Yorkers should not face financial ruin for seeking medical care." 

"I’m joining CSS in urging Governor Hochul to sign this bill into law as soon as possible so these egregious practices are outlawed in New York State. Medical debt should not exist at all, much less be the reason a New Yorker loses their hard-earned wages or their home.”

Senator Rivera is the prime sponsor of two additional bills to address and end medical debt in New York State. Bill S.2521C/A.3470, which passed both houses of the Legislature this year, would regulate the billing of facilities fees by healthcare providers and address surprise billing for facility fees unrelated to the care patients receive. Bill S.7625/ A.8441 would require hospitals to use a uniform financial assistance policy in order to receive funding and to expand eligibility and protections for patients that need financial assistance.