Do you support a permanent expansion of telemedicine including doctors being paid the same as a face-to-face visit? What will you do to ensure this remains after the COVID expansion ends?

I personally found that telemedicine was extremely effective and provided me with the same information that I would have received from the doctor if I had committed the time and incurred the expense of traveling for an in-person visit. My wife had the same experience. So yes, I would support a permanent expansion of telemedicine. And, since the amount of time I would expect the doctor to expand on the review of my medical records and test results is the same, regardless of whether I see him in person or via a videoconference, then yes, I believe the charges should be the same. What will be missing is the ability to spontaneously run such things as an EKG, or give injections of viruses, etc..

What is your position on a single-payer healthcare system in NYS? What will you do to support your position, and how will you ensure physicians are treated fairly in your position?

I am opposed to single-payer health systems. Basically, Single Payer is a substitute for saying “government payment of all medical expenses”. The government is already committing fraud in how they have finagled hospitals to report expenses. They have been reported to be doubling the actual cost, sending 50% of that bill then to Medicaid and Medicare to pay, and writing off the unpaid portion of the bill, somehow giving NYS the credit for having paid it. This is total nonsense and unethical activity. Doctors do need to charge their expenses and be compensated for their efforts, but not with the application of fraud.

How will you ensure that you remain informed by physicians when considering legislative proposals that impact healthcare?

Health care, like any other profession, has standard expenses and problems to address. The government should not be involved in solving those problems. I would oppose any legislation that imposes another restriction or guideline on any healthcare professional, service, or facility. Those in the field should be able to solve their own problems and have the power to Monroe County Medical Society | 200 Canal View Blvd | Suite 202 | Rochester, NY 14623 | do so. I will be dependent upon the health community itself to make sure I stay abreast of issues to ensure nothing falls through the proverbial cracks.

How do you plan to support nursing homes and assisted living facilities in caring for our older adults?

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are providing a needed service and the market should be able to support their efforts. Government regulations generally just create additional burdens that do not add to the features of nursing homes and assisted living facilities to publicize as benefits of their service. It is a shame that some of these facilities have been operated as a sham by shysters, and as a result, the people running these facilities have lost control to the government. We need to determine which regulations specifically are helpful and which are not, and get rid of regulations that are just consuming time and resources.

What will you do to address the number of uninsured individuals in your district?

I will oppose the single-payer health care system and allow insurance companies to design their own packages based upon the individual’s desire for insurance coverage. By encouraging intrastate and interstate insurance marketing the rates should come down for the same coverage. That is a basic law of free trade. Because insurance companies are for-profit companies, their services need to be paid for. By people who want their service. Should people still be falling through the cracks, that is the function of private charities to step up and help out, and if and when necessary, the role of government welfare programs.

What can be done to limit the power of insurance companies, to better balance the decision of the patient consumer and clinical decision of their physician?

There are several steps we can take. The first thing we need to do is remove some, if not all, of the mandates and regulations that the government has placed on insurance companies. The government’s ability to limit the options insurance companies offer needs to end. The government is not an unbiased participant. Governments have used insurance as a means of generating revenue in the past. [The British Empire was funded almost exclusively by insurance paid by the merchants.] The US government is now no exception to that practice. One example is the Affordable Care Act’s specific language concerning a special tax charged on manufactured medical items and the requirement that the tax is to be included as part of ‘the cost of the item”. As a result, our government is not an impartial moderator in medical decisions.

The next thing we need to do is to make the same limitations on the ability of the government to interfere with the physician’s decisions concerning their patients. We need to get the government out of the health care and the insurance fields. The government regulations have dramatically increased the cost of specialists and dramatically restricted what options they have for treatment-limiting them for the most part to government-approved treatments. Such restrictions have stymied the growth of health care in the US. I would support a movement that limits’ government’s involvement and responsibility in these fields to just making information available, with the obligation to do so completely and accurately to anyone who requests information. Monroe County Medical Society | 200 Canal View Blvd | Suite 202 | Rochester, NY 14623 |

The patient should be given the ability to decide what insurance coverage they would like to have. They should not be limited to just picking a package created by the government. And, Insurance companies should be given the power to create individualized insurance packages based on the anticipated needs of the individual.

Do you support the ability for physicians to collectively negotiate with insurance companies? What will you do to support your position?

Physicians should be able to individually and collectively negotiate with insurance companies as well as with hospitals and other service providers to their field. I will work with anyone to help remove the barriers to free enterprise in this field.

What can be done to ensure that patients can afford their medication?

The first step is to remove the artificial barriers that the US Government has placed on the drug industry and any barrier set up by NYS. The inexpensive cost of drugs in 3rd world countries, versus the alleged dramatic cost of that same drug in the US costs is a result of government involvement.

What is your position on the legalization of recreational marijuana?

I would support the legalization of recreational marijuana. I am a firm believer in the establishment of one class of drugs – over the counter. You can buy what you want if you are old enough (18). I embrace this position for two reasons. First, as an adult, you have the right to be stupid. Second, the government’s only legitimate responsibility in this area is to make sure people have access to the information that accurately identifies what the real consequences of the use of drugs are. If the government and the educational system were doing their job, people would be aware of the consequences. Someone once said, “If someone is addicted to drugs, you have a medical problem. If you make the use of that drug illegal, you now have a criminal problem too.” Today, that criminal problem will prevent someone from seeking medical help – and thus they are handed a death sentence: Death by the drugs they became addicted to, or death of a character and all of life’s potential because they sought help.

What is your position on tort reform? What will you do to support your position, and how will you ensure physicians are treated fairly in your position?

I believe we are in desperate need of tort reform. Our civil courts are abominable. The ability to sue needs to be reigned in, the settlements need to be limited and rational, and the patients need to take increased responsibility of the up-front decision whether or not to place their care in a particular physicians’ hands.