Cuomo announces probe into ‘opioid scandal’ – Politico

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Quick Fix

— The Cuomo administration is launching an investigation that could lead to a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of opioids for the soaring cost of treating addiction and the resulting spike in New Yorkers’ health insurance premiums.

— More than thirty health, consumer and aging organizations and other groups have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include a family caregiver tax credit in his next state budget proposal.

— Former St. Clare’s Hospital employees are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany over their lost pensions.

Policy and Politics

OPIOID OVERCHARGES — POLITICO’s Amanda Eisenberg: The Cuomo administration is launching an investigation into “the opioid scandal” with an aim to sue manufacturers and distributors for the soaring cost of treating addiction and the resulting spike in New Yorkers’ health insurance premiums, state officials announced. The Department of Financial Services ⁠— the agency that sets insurance premiums — intends to hold hearings across the state before filing a lawsuit against manufacturers, distributors, retailers and pharmacy benefit managers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference in his Manhattan office.

GROUPS CALL FOR CAREGIVER TAX CREDIT IN NEXT BUDGET — POLITICO’s Shannon Young: More than thirty health, consumer and aging organizations and other groups have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include a family caregiver tax credit in his next state budget proposal. The coalition, which includes AARP New York, the New York Urban League and the NAACP, announced Tuesday that they had sent a letter asking the governor to put forth a credit that allows New Yorkers to seek financial relief for the costs of providing care to family members. The groups contend that such a tax credit would provide much-needed “help with the financial toll of caring for their loved ones.

EX-ST. CLARE’S EMPLOYEES SUE ALBANY DIOCESE — Shannon reports: More than 100 former nurses, orderlies, laboratory technicians and other employees at St. Clare’s Hospital are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany over the loss of their pensions. Legal Services of NYC, The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, AARP Foundation and Albany Law School Professor David Pratt filed the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County on Tuesday on behalf of the employees.

STUDY LINKS 9/11 DUST TO CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE — Shannon reports: Firefighters exposed to dust during and immediately after the World Trade Center’s collapse on Sept. 11 are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who responded to the scene in the days following the terrorist attacks, new research suggests.

— New York City, meanwhile, will extend health benefits to the families of 5,000 additional city employees who die of a 9/11-related illness, under a bill proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Amanda reports.

Odds and Ends

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NOW WE KNOW — Here’s where all the Democratic presidential candidates taking part in Thursday’s debate stand on the issue of universal health care.

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STUDY THIS — People who take a daytime nap once or twice a week may be at a lower risk for heart attacks or strokes, new research suggests.

Around New York

OP-ED — Assemblymembers Aravella Simotas and Dan Quart, who is running for Manhattan district attorney, argued in a Tuesday Gotham Gazette op-ed piece that New York should pass legislation that redefines rape to include forced anal and oral contact, and eliminates the penetration element needed to legally establish that a vaginal rape has occurred.

IRRESPONSIBLE — A Stuyvesant High School 9/11 survivor and advocate slammed a new HBO film, “In The Shadow of the Towers: Stuyvesant High On 9/11,” calling it “irresponsible” for leaving out the health issues many of her classmates have experienced, the Daily News reports.

DELAYED CARE — Friends of Norzell Aldridge are asking whether the Buffalo youth football coach would still be alive if not for a stop that took up to two minutes, or if police had escorted him to the hospital, after he was struck by a bullet, The Buffalo News reports.

SAFE STORAGE — NewYork-Presbyterian’s Lawrence Hospital implemented remote temperature monitoring for its refrigeration system. Vaccines, breast milk, blood samples and other specimens are kept in the refrigerators and freezers, which are controlled by an offsite telehealth and AI command center.

MAKING ROUNDS — Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has named Lisa DeAngelis physician-in-chief and chief medical officer. DeAngelis, a leading expert in brain cancer, previously served as chair of the Department of Neurology and was co-founder of MSK’s Brain Tumor Center.

— Newsday reports: “Winnie Mack, tapped in April to lead Nassau University Medical Center with an aim of helping turn around the struggling public hospital, will depart after six months as president and chief executive, NuHealth chairman George Tsunis said Monday night.”

Pharma Report

FILING SUIT — The Associated Press reports that “an Austrian doctor who prescribes abortion drugs to patients around the world is suing the United States for allegedly blocking her American patients from getting abortions by seizing their prescriptions.”

FOR SALE — Mallinckrodt Plc announced it has agreed to sell its contract drug manufacturing unit, BioVectra, to private equity firm HIG Capital for $175 million, including $135 million in cash and a long-term note worth $40 million — freeing funds to deal with opioid lawsuits, Bloomberg Law reports.

What We’re Reading

VACCINATION CRACKDOWN — Despite protests from opponents, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation aimed at rooting out doctors who write fraudulent medical exemptions to school vaccination requirements shortly after lawmakers sent him requested changes to the bill, The Associated Press reports.

LEAD ABATEMENT — NPR reports that: A sweeping report by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General found “the agency does not have an ‘effective strategy’ for enforcing rules that require contractors and other renovators to be trained and certified before they work on homes that have lead paint in them, and that the agency is not keeping track of basic details that would help it know whether children are being exposed to lead-contaminated dust.”

SUICIDE DEATHS — Although suicide-related deaths are on the decline, one still occurs every 40 seconds, according to new World Health Organization figures, CNN reports.

CARBON MONOXIDE — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation requiring carbon monoxide detectors in public housing, after an investigation found more than a dozen tenants have died from the gas since 2003, NBC News reports.

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