Your Weekly Dose of Health October 2, 2015

In a rare instance of bipartisan agreement on healthcare, the Senate and the House approved a bill this week to protect small and midsized businesses from rising healthcare premiums.  According to a White House spokesperson, President Obama will sign the bill.

The so called “Cadillac Tax”, a tax on employer based high cost health plans, got some media attention this week.  The 40% tax on such plans is due to take effect in 2018.  Hillary Clinton this week called for its repeal, while a group of health policy experts sent a letter to Congress urging them to take no action on the tax.

A second methadone program has been approved for Onondaga County to help the region combat the growing problem of heroin and painkiller addiction.  Meanwhile, the New York City Council passed three bills, each of which are aimed at curbing synthetic marijuana sales and use.

Governor Cuomo this week announced $3 million in funding for prostate cancer research.  The grants will go to 20 research institutions statewide to support their work in this area.  The governor also announced this week $350,000 for school districts to support the use of locally grown foods in schools.

Click here for upcoming Department of Health meetings and events.  Click here for upcoming public hearings.

Step therapy requires patients to try and fail one or more, typically lower cost, medications before the insurance companies allow them to “step up” to another, more expensive medication. Click here to learn more about this dangerous policy.