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POLITICO New York Health Care: De Blasio budget; tobacco report

01/25/2017 10:00 AM EDT

Good morning! You are reading a complimentary synopsis of the POLITICO New York Pro Health Care newsletter. Pro subscribers receive a premium version of this newsletter, which includes an enhanced look-ahead and robust analysis of the health care news driving the day, weekdays at 5:45 a.m. Contact us here to learn more'.

written by Dan Goldberg

THE CITY BUDGET - Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled an $84.67 billion spending plan on Tuesday. Here are some health highlights:

-NO BIGGY - The de Blasio administration isn't concerned with language in the state's proposed budget that could pull $50 million in Medicaid money away from New York City. In fact, de Blasio, during his own budget presentation on Tuesday afternoon, praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a frequent antagonist, for his support of the Medicaid program, and put Medicaid in the "good news category." The mayor's praise comes despite language in Cuomo's proposed budget that would cut $50 million in Medicaid funding from New York City unless the de Blasio administration comes up with a plan in the next five months to receive $100 million more in federal Medicaid dollars for preschool and school supportive health services. Dean Fuleihan, de Blasio's budget director, said he has had conversations with his counterparts in the state and does not believe the Cuomo administration's proposed cuts will come to fruition. "I'm being told that is not the case," he said. "We've already been talking about how to increase our Medicaid reimbursements, but we will have conversations in the next couple days to make sure."

-HEALTH + HOSPITALS - The mayor's proposed budget provides New York City Health + Hospitals with $767 million in city funding, up roughly 11 percent from a year ago. The increased commitment comes as the nation's largest public hospital system, which has a projected $2 billion budget gap, reports revenue below projections.

-HOMELESS STUDENTS - Last April, as New York City's homeless student population swelled to unprecedented levels, de Blasio announced $30 million in his executive budget plan to support homeless students, including hiring new social workers for schools with large homeless populations and creating literacy programs in some homeless shelters.

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BASSETT CONCERNS - Public health professionals are "bracing for an assault on the protections and safety nets" that many have been advocating for their whole adult lives, New York City health commissioner Mary Bassett said Tuesday morning, painting a disquieting picture as she listed all the ways in which President Donald Trump's administration can impact public health beyond the Affordable Care Act.

NOW WE KNOW - Jet lag is the reason your favorite player can't hit the curveball, according to a Northwestern University study that analyzed the performance of baseball players.

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LYME TIME - State of Politics' Nick Reisman reports: "The ink on the $152.3 billion budget proposal from Cuomo is a little over a week old, but the calls for adding 30-day amendments are just beginning. Republican Sen. Sue Serino on Tuesday urged the governor to add efforts to combat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses to the spending plan."

SMOKING REPORT - New York State failed to implement life-saving tobacco control policies in 2016, according to a new report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association. Although smoking rates are at record lows for both youths and adults, the association's report faulted the state for not passing a statewide law during 2016 that would raise the age of sale for tobacco products to 21 years old.

OPINION - Bill Hammond is concerned that Cuomo's recent actions on contraceptive care and abortion may be executive overreach.

MAKING ROUNDS - The State University of New York Board of Trustees on Tuesday appointed Dr. Wayne J. Riley as president of SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Riley, a clinical professor of medicine and adjunct professor of health policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, will begin to his job at SUNY Downstate in April. In addition to serving as president, Riley will hold two faculty appointments, professor of internal medicine in the College of Medicine and professor of health policy and management in the School of Public Health. Riley will be earning a salary of $500,000 and a campus foundation salary of $175,000.

ALSO MAKING ROUNDS - The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and GLG announced the 2017 class of Mount Sinai-GLG Global Health Scholars.

BILL TRACKER - The state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill expanding health benefits awarded to volunteer firefighters for maladies related to their work. The bill (S1411), sponsored by state Sen. Joe Griffo, passed 48-0 according to the unofficial vote tally. The Assembly has not yet taken up the measure.

...The Safe Staffing Act, a top priority for the New York State Nurses Association, passed out of the Assembly's health committee on Tuesday.

DEMO DAY - The New York Digital Health Accelerator competition took place Tuesday as health tech companies presented their ideas to health care providers, insurance companies and investors.

-ARE HEP C DRUGS SAFE? - The New York Times reports: "Drugs approved in recent years that can cure hepatitis C may have severe side effects, including liver failure, a new report suggests. The number of adverse events appears relatively small, and the findings are not conclusive."

-OBAMACARE LATEST - My colleagues in DC report: "President Donald Trump's point man on repealing and replacing Obamacare provided no new clues about how the administration intends to reshape the health system during an at times testy confirmation hearing Tuesday."

...Distilling it down to one moment: Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, during his questioning time, asked Price whether it was true that "President Trump said he is working with you on a replacement plan for the ACA, which is nearly finished and will be revealed after your confirmation."
"It's true that he said that, yes," Price responded. The room laughed, and Price allowed himself a grin.

...Also, Price went after a POLITICO reporter:

-SILENCE - The Trump administration is muzzling federal health agencies, restricting external communications, press releases and social media postings while inspiring fears of a broader crackdown across the government.

WHO'S MEETING WITH TRUMP - STAT reports: "Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, an audacious biotech billionaire who has pledged to 'solve health care,' has been in talks with the Trump administration about the possibility of serving in a senior role overseeing the US health care system, according to individuals familiar with the discussions."

ABORTION LAW OVERTURNED - A federal judge overturned two Idaho laws that banned women from receiving a medication-induced abortion via telemedicine, according to Modern Healthcare.

TODAY'S TIP - Comes from the Community Healthcare Network's Michele Perlman, director of health and community education; "Drinking impairs your judgment and can lead you to do things that you wouldn't do sober. Drinking can increase your risk of STIs, HIV, and pregnancy. Know your limits when it comes to drinking so you can make the right decisions and protect yourself and your partner."

-BAD NEWS FOR BABIES - Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health have discovered high and potentially harmful levels of flame retardant on the hands of toddlers in New York City.

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