December 9, 2014
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
Albany, NY 12224
Re: Requesting Your Signature of Senate Bill S.7854/Assembly Bill A.7558B
Dear Governor Cuomo:
I write on a matter of the utmost urgency and respectfully request that you sign Senate Bill S.7854/Assembly Bill A.7558B, important legislation that would ensure the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) does not identify, investigate, or charge a medical professional based solely on their recommendation or provision of a treatment modality that is currently not universally accepted by the medical community. Along with millions of New Yorkers, I ask that you sign this bill into State Law at your earliest possible opportunity.
Since the summer, many of my Columbia County constituents have contacted me asking when this legislation will finally be enacted into law. I share their concerns regarding this common sense and necessary measure becoming State Law. I was proud to co-sponsor, and vote for, this legislation when it overwhelmingly passed the State Senate (and Assembly) in June with strong, bi-partisan support. As a member of the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick Borne Diseases, and as the Senator representing Columbia County, which has some of the highest reported cases of Lyme disease, not just in New York State but in the United States, I know the powerful impact this measure would have.
Governor, too many of my Columbia County constituents are living with the painful reality of Lyme disease. They are people, not statistics, and have endured unimaginable physical, emotional, psychological and financial hardships. This new State Law will better protect pioneering and courageous doctors who take a proactive approach to treating Lyme disease. Neither a doctor, nor any other health care professional acting in good faith, should be forced to endure the specter of endless investigations, crushing legal costs and the potential loss of their license to practice medicine because they put their patients first.
I appreciate your recognition of the time-sensitive nature of this request, and your understanding of the positive difference this new law would make in protecting doctors and other health care practitioners who advocate for their patients and seek to ease the incredible pain and suffering that individuals with Lyme disease endure. Thank you for your consideration of my request.
Kathleen A. Marchione
State Senator, 43rd District