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POLITICO New York Health Care: Pharma gets a win in Albany; How SCOTUS decision affects uninsured

06/24/2016 10:00 AM EDT

Good morning! You are receiving the complimentary synopsis of the POLITICO New York Pro Health Care newsletter. Pro subscribers are receiving an enhanced version of this newsletter at 5:45 a.m. each weekday, which includes a look-ahead and robust analysis of health care policy news driving the day. If you would like the Pro version of this newsletter, along with customized real-time insights on New York health care, please contact us here and we will set you up with trial access. Thank you for reading!

written by Josefa Velasquez

PHARMA STAVES OFF FIGHT IN ALBANY - In mid-January, amid a wave of anti-pharma sentiment following the arrest of pharma executive Martin Shkreli, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed effectively capping the price of certain pharmaceuticals and requiring unprecedented transparency from manufacturers. "Rapidly rising costs for prescription drugs pose one of the biggest risks to maintaining quality affordable health care for New Yorkers," the governor's 2016 State of the State agenda book says. It was an ambitious budget proposal. And it injected the Democratic governor and New York into the national debate over drug prices, setting the pharmaceutical industry up to have a potentially rough year in the state. But months later, as the national debate tempered, Cuomo's proposal fizzled and pharma staved off the attack. In the end, the industry even managed to get some wins from the Legislature.

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AND MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW Dan Goldberg and me on Twitter @J__Velasquez & @DanCGoldberg. And for all New Jersey health news, check out @katiedjennings

SCOTUS IMMIGRATION RULING AFFECTS UNINSURED - The Supreme Court's 4-4 split Thursday nullifying President Barack Obama's executive orders to give five million immigrants legal status and work permits will have a profound local health impact, blocking hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from a chance at health insurance. Read why here:

NOW WE KNOW - Morning erections occur because of the sacral nerve, part of the parasympathetic nervous system.

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CUOMO'S HIV PLAN - HIV/AIDS activists secured a long sought-after victory on the eve of Pride weekend as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all HIV-positive, low-income individuals in New York City will soon be eligible to receive housing, transportation and nutritional support. The commitment will expand services to an estimated 7,000 people.

...Mayor Bill de Blasio , who on Thursday stood by comments calling Cuomo "vindictive," had called for expanding eligibility last December and offered to pay a little less than half the costs.

COMING ONLINE - The city health department on Thursday posted lead water test results for all day care programs under its jurisdiction.

PERFECT PAIR - The de Blasio administration is partnering with the tech startup Zocdoc, which helps people find doctors and medical care within their insurance network, as part of the city's WorkWell NYC initiative.

EXPANDING - The University at Buffalo S-Miles To Go mobile dental program received a nearly 50 percent increase in state funding to expand oral health care to underserved children in Oswego, St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties.

DEPARTING - Jim Tallon, the president of the United Hospital Fund, will step down from the position in the second half of 2017, the organization announced Thursday.

... The Healthcare Association of New York State honored Dennis Whalen with the 2016 Distinguished Service Award at an event in Bolton Landing on Thursday. Whalen, who joined HANYS in 2009 and has acted as president since 2013, is set to retire in July.

OPINION - Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank of New York City, makes the argument that the best way of to address hunger is to use your voice to discuss the problem.

ACROSS THE RIVER - A bill that would make supplemental appropriations totaling $9.6 million to two hospitals cleared the Senate and Assembly budget committees Thursday, but Gov. Chris Christie is likely to veto it, as he has continually vetoed appropriations proposals introduced outside of the annual budget process. POLITICO New Jersey's Katie Jennings has more:

-BIG WIN FOR HORIZON - A state appellate court has reversed two lower court judges' rulings that would have ordered Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey to turn over certain documents on the creation of its OMNIA tiered health plans to a group of hospitals. POLITICO New Jersey's Katie Jennings has more:

PHARMA REPORT: -The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center, the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins have created a research consortium to study and create new cancer therapies. Read more here:


-ZIKA - POLITICO reports: "There is no sign that Congress will approve funding to combat the Zika virus before the middle of July - after mosquito season is well under way - amid new partisan rancor over access to contraception."

-MORE CO-OP LAWSUITS - Land of Lincoln Health, one of 23 nonprofit health plans seeded with Obamacare loans, is the latest insurer to sue the federal government in an effort to collect risk corridors payments.

-FINDING COST SAVINGS - Don Meade, a California resident, made weekly trips to the hospital last year. California Healthline writes about Medi-Cal, the state's insurance program for the poor, where frequent health care users who represent 1 percent of the patient population account for one-fourth of health care spending.

-OREGON'S MEDICAID EXPANSION - After Oregon expanded Medicaid, residents have dropped emergency room visits and are largely able to find a doctor despite the program increasing by more than 50 percent.

-STRIKE, STRIKE - Roughly 1,300 registered nurses at the Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center began a four-day strike Thursday. The nurses at the health system's flagship hospital are demanding a new contract agreement that will increase staff and wages.

TODAY'S TIP - Despite what you were told when you were younger, burning or smothering a tick isn't the right way to remove it. Here's a clip from the Mayo Clinic on the proper way.


-SPEED READ - NYU Langone researchers, writing in Nature, explain Maximum Depth Sequencing, a new technology that reads DNA code accurately enough to show how bacteria use high-speed evolution to defeat antibiotics.

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