No new health policies in city blueprint – Politico

Editor’s Note: This edition of New York Health Care is published weekdays at 10 a.m. POLITICO Pro New York subscribers hold exclusive early access to the newsletter each morning at 6 a.m. To learn more about POLITICO Pro New York’s comprehensive policy intelligence coverage, policy tools and services, visit

Quick Fix

— Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out his vision for New York City this week, but did not include any major health care programs or initiatives.


— The New York Police Department is liable for not making their precincts accessible for people with disabilities. Add it to the long list of places in the city that do not accommodate those with disabilities (looking at you, MTA).

— An assemblywoman is looking to restore funding for Lyme disease.

Policy and Politics

STATE OF THE CITY — POLITICO’s Joe Anuta: Mayor Bill de Blasio is vowing to help small businesses, overhaul his affordable housing plan, boost high school graduation rates and invest in green energy as part of a suite of policy goals outlined in his seventh State of the City speech Thursday. The mayor was set to speak to a crowd assembled at the American Museum of Natural History for what he had called earlier in the week “a very different kind of State of the City address.” The blueprint provides insight into how the mayor plans to spend his last two years in office following a failed presidential run over the summer and alongside an increasingly restive City Council.

— Any health care policies were notably absent, especially as the city potentially faces a financial crunch from new state mandates.

DISABILITIES DISCRIMINATION — POLITICO’s Erin Durkin: The NYPD discriminated against people with disabilities by failing to make neighborhood police stations accessible, a federal judge ruled. Judge Valerie Caproni issued the decision finding the NYPD liable in response to a class-action lawsuit by advocates and wheelchair users who say they’ve been shut out at local precincts, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Odds and Ends

WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU: This roundup is for you, so please tell us how we can make it even better. Send tips, news, ideas, calendar items, releases, promotions, job postings, birthdays, congratulations, criticisms and corrections to and

NOW WE KNOW — Curly hair line DevaCurl may be causing hair loss and damage, Vice reports.

SHARE ME: Like this newsletter? Share it with your friends.

TODAY’S TIP — Seeking mental health treatment is another way to live longer, according to the Philadelphia Tribune.

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW Amanda @aeis17, Shannon @ShannonYoung413 and Dan @DanCGoldberg on Twitter. And for all New Jersey health news, check out @samjsutton.

Around New York

LYME FUNDING — Assembly Member Marjorie Byrnes is leading an effort to restore $1 million in funds to Lyme disease research, prevention and awareness efforts in the state budget. This funding was cut in the Governor’s proposed budget for this year, according to her office.

SIGN OF THE TIMES — The Buffalo News reports: “A regional orthopedic group looking to better serve its patients and the sports teams it helps train has brought a nutritional company into its fold. Balanced Nutrition of WNY last month became part of Excelsior Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and moved into the company headquarters on Sheridan Drive in Amherst.”

‘EXTENSIVELY TARGETED’ — The state police had a role into the lobbying investigation of a rape survivor, the Times Union reports.

MEDICAL TRANSPARENCY — “The Medical Society of New York State is pushing back against proposed oversight measures in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget,” according to WCNY.

ON THE CATWALK New York Fashion Week had a show to “reimagine the blue jacket” to bring attention to prostate cancer, NY1 reports.

MEANWHILE, IN CONNECTICUT — The Hartford Courant reports that Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, while releasing his new budget this week, said “the state must take a regional approach to the issue [of adult use cannabis], with recreational marijuana already legal in Massachusetts and the New York and Rhode Island legislatures again considering legalization.”

NEW NAME — Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital will now operate under the name Mount Sinai Morningside, effective immediately.

Pharma Report

CORONAVIRUS INITIATIVE — Reuters reports: “French drugmaker Sanofi will announce a new coronavirus initiative within the next two weeks, its chief executive said on Thursday, adding that it wants to present something concrete and not add to ‘fantasies.’ At least a dozen drugmakers are working on vaccines or antivirals to help those infected with the fast-spreading virus that has killed more than 500 people in China, but several have warned that development of treatments will take time.”

— Chinese doctors are looking to anything that may treat coronavirus, Reuters reports.

What We’re Reading

THIS WILL WORK UNTIL IT WON’T — Fear of massive surprise medical bills has prompted some patients (or patients’ family members) to alter financial consent forms during hospital intake. “Instead of simply signing the hospital’s financial and treatment consent form, Ms. Richter first crossed out sections calling for her to pay whatever amount the hospital charged. She wrote in her own payment rate of a ‘maximum of two times’ what the federal government would pay under Medicare, which is in the ballpark, experts said, of what hospitals might consider an acceptable rate,” writes Julie Appleby for Kaiser Health News, published in The New York Times.

NIGHTMARE IN WUHAN — Americans looking for a way out of Wuhan — the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak — aren’t out of the woods once the land in the U.S. Next comes a mandatory 14-day quarantine, write Siobhán O’Grady, Lenny Bernstein, Anna Fifield and William Wan for The Washington Post.

… Via The Wall Street Journal:The State Department offered Americans stranded in the Chinese city at the center of the coronavirus epidemic a last chance for evacuation: two planes, departing as soon as Thursday night, headed for U.S. soil, after China reported its highest single-day total of fatalities from the outbreak.”

— Fox News reports: “Li Wenliang, a doctor in China who was allegedly detained for warning others about the coronavirus before he himself was sickened by the illness, may not have died despite comments made during a World Health Organization (WHO) press briefing on Thursday that suggested he did. A statement from the hospital treating Li said that he was in critical condition.”

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES — Nintendo Switch consoles will have delayed deliveries due to the Wuhan coronavirus, CNBC reports.

IN EXCESS Reuters reports: “Ten U.S. oil refineries, including six in Texas, released the cancer-causing chemical benzene in concentrations that exceeded federal limits last year, according to government data published by the green group Environmental Integrity Project on Thursday.”

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE — Thousands of patients are caught in the crossfire between a giant hospital chain and a large insurer, according to Kaiser Health News.

YIKES — Hospital sandwiches contaminated with listeria reportedly caused the deaths of several individuals, according to BBC.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Get caught up on the New York Health Care Morning Newsletter page.