An Analysis of Leandra’s Law: Are Mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlocks an Effective Way to Curtail Drunken Driving?

By Stephanie Goutos, Albany Government Law Review

I. Introduction

On October 11, 2009, an intoxicated Carmen Huertas got into her vehicle and began to drive seven young children to a slumber party.[1]  Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau would later report that Ms. Huertas had “brushed off warnings that she was too drunk to drive,” [2] and authorities stated she was playing a guessing game with the passengers, asking them to raise their hands if they thought they would make it home without crashing.[3]  Ms. Huertas subsequently lost control of the vehicle, which swerved off the road and flipped over on the Henry Hudson Parkway.[4]  Huertas’s blood alcohol limit was tested at the scene of the accident and reported to be above 0.13 percent, surpassing the legal limit of 0.08.[5]  One of the passengers in the car was eleven year old Leandra Rosado, who was thrown from the vehicle as a result of the accident, and did not survive.[6] Continue reading “An Analysis of Leandra’s Law: Are Mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlocks an Effective Way to Curtail Drunken Driving?”

External Appeal in New York; Are Recent Changes Enough?

By Hunter Raines, Albany Government Law Review

New York’s external appeal legislation, giving patients and health care providers a right to an external appeal of health plan adverse coverage determinations, has been invaluable in improving the patient’s access to care while protecting the provider’s right to adequate reimbursement for health care services.  However, changes enacted in July 2011 measurably impact the operation of this statutory creature, which merits examination and review of the process as it currently stands.[1]

In the early 1990s, the rising costs of health care inspired a new insurance model closely tied to the concept of strict care management.[2]  By strictly managing consumer options, health care costs were constrained.[3]  However, this model encumbered access to needed health care for many.[4]  New York’s Managed Care Reform Act, signed by Governor Pataki in 1996, provided new protection for New York consumers in the health insurance market.[5]  Since the passage of the act, consumers now have the right to obtain a description of services and procedures covered by their health plan, the right to an explanation of the patient’s financial responsibility for such procedures and services and the right to appeal adverse coverage determinations.[6]  These legislative protections are far reaching, applying to most health plans excluding those which are self-funded or otherwise subject to ERISA, which is beyond the scope of this article.[7] Continue reading “External Appeal in New York; Are Recent Changes Enough?”

The Supreme Court and The Individual Healthcare Mandate

By Beth Ensell, Albany Government Law Review

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA) into law.  The law added a provision to the U.S. Tax Code, which requires every citizen, national, or alien lawfully in the United States, to maintain “minimum essential coverage” for themselves and their dependents, subject to penalty.[1]  This has been dubbed the “individual mandate” and touted by PPACA naysayers as “socialized medicine.”[2]  The provision also remains the focus of several ongoing lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of PPACA.[3] Continue reading “The Supreme Court and The Individual Healthcare Mandate”

Keeping it in the Family: The New York State Kinship Caregiver Program

By Matthea Ross, Albany Government Law Review

Background

Many programs in New York State are in danger of being cut due to budget cuts.  One example is the Kinship Caregiver Program.[1]  However, this program should be maintained because it provides children with the stability of family during times when their lives are being greatly disrupted. [2]

Kinship Care is defined as “the full time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives, . . . godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has a kinship bond with a child,”[3] including close family friends depending on the jurisdiction.[4]  Often considered a way of preserving the family, placing children with relatives helps children maintain those familial connections.[5]  Continue reading “Keeping it in the Family: The New York State Kinship Caregiver Program”