Your Weekly Dose of Health November 18, 2016

** As you may be aware, step therapy, or “fail first” legislation, A.2834D (Titone) / S.3419C (Young), passed the NYS Senate and Assembly in the final week of the Legislative Session. Please take the time to call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and urge him to sign this legislation into law, as it’s in the best interest of New York patients and providers! Click here for more information on step therapy.

National News:

  • More than a million people obtained health insurance for 2017 under the Affordable Care Act. And more than 300,000 of them signed up for healthcare in the few days after Donald Trump won the election. Mr. Trump proposes that the legislature fully repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with another program.
  • Blue Shield of California says they’re committed to selling coverage despite the Republicans’ pursuit of repeal-and-replace.
  • House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price said that he expects a push toward overhauling Medicare “within the first six to eight months” of the new administration.
  • The World Health Organization this week ended its designation of the Zika virus as a global health emergency.

State News:

  • Ian Morrison, at the New York Health Plan Association’s annual conference in Troy, said that big changes to the Affordable Care Act are not likely in the very near future, but that our president elect is “unpredictable” so it is hard to know, exactly, what he will do on healthcare or when.
  • Nathan Graber is stepping down from his position as the Director of the Center for Environmental Health, a branch of the state Department of Health.
  • Bill Hamond of the think tank, Empire Center, wrote that the $15 minimum wage will cost the State’s Medicaid system more than double what the state originally had predicted.
  • A lawsuit brought by patients, physicians and an advocacy group is challenging New York’s ban on assisted suicide.

City News:

  • New York City expanded its program to combat gun violence, committing $23.4 million in funding for FY2017.
  • First Lady Chirlane McCray this week launched a new mental healthcare coalition called Cities Thrive. The national coalition is focused on mental health reforms on the local and national level.

Upcoming Events:

  • NYSHealth, The New York Academy of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health are sponsoring the fourth annual Population Health Summit on December 12th.
  • Click here for upcoming meetings, hearings and events from the state Department of Health.

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