Your Weekly Dose of Health September 18, 2015

The House of Representatives voted today to freeze funding to Planned Parenthood.  The vote was predictably along party lines.  It’s most likely a symbolic vote, as the bill has little to no chance of making it through the Senate.

President Obama this week nominated Robert Califf, a cardiologist and researcher at Duke University, to be the next FDA Commissioner.  According to the New York Times, he likely faces little opposition from the Senate, who must confirm his appointment.

The White House reported this week that although incomes haven’t grown, nine million more people got health insurance last year.  The New York Times also details four ways that the Afordable Care Act has affected healthcare in America.

Some major banks in New York will not do business with the medical marijuana companies that have received licenses to operate in the state.  The banks point to the fact that marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

Jon Stewart this week joined first responders and 9/11 survivors to call on Congress to extend permanently the World Trade Center Health Program, which is set to expire at the end of the month.

During the month of August, 677 New Yorkers used the Partnership for Prescription Assistance’s (PPA) website or hotline to find out if they qualified for any of the 475 public and private patient assistance programs offered by the PPA. Of these 677 New Yorkers, 99% were matched with the assistance program that’s right for them, giving them access to prescription medicines for free or nearly free. Too see if you qualify for any assistance programs, visit or call 888 4 PPA Now.

Step therapy policy in New York 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.