Stewart-Cousins wants lawmakers involved in addressing Medicaid shortfall – Politico

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Quick Fix

— Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said the state’s projected Medicaid shortfall “is a very big concern” and she wants the Legislature involved in budget talks on how to address the issue.

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— Advocates with The Legal Aid Society say new NYPD on marijuana arrests underscore the need for legalization of the drug for recreational purposes when Albany lawmakers return in 2020.

— Attorney General Tish James is scheduled to make a “major vaping announcement” in New York City.

Policy and Politics

MENTAL HEALTH — Amanda reports: First Lady Chirlane McCray shared her experiences growing up as the only black child in her town during the first day of the Cities Thrive conference in Manhattan on Monday. She described how racist behavior from her classmates and teachers caused her to feel lonely and anxious growing up.

“One afternoon, as I was riding my bike home, grown men doing some construction on the street muttered among themselves and then spit on me. I didn’t know how to handle all that,” she told dozens of public servants from across the country. “It’s one thing when children make fun of you, but adults? It was really difficult. I was afraid. I was lonely. I was anxious. As so often I just wanted to die. I didn’t have a healthy place for all those feelings to go.”

STEWART-COUSINS WANTS LEGISLATURE INVOLVED IN ADDRESSING MEDICAID SHORTFALL — POLITICO’s Shannon Young: Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Monday the state’s reported Medicaid shortfall is weighing on lawmakers’ minds ahead of 2020 budget talks, emphasizing the Legislature wants to be involved in discussions on how the Cuomo administration plans to meet its spending cap. Stewart-Cousins told WCNY’s “Capitol Pressroom” that lawmakers have been alerted to state Division of the Budget projections suggesting that state-share Medicaid spending could exceed New York’s Global Cap by $3 billion to $4 billion in fiscal year 2020, including a $1.7 billion deferral for fiscal year 2019. “It’s a very big concern,” she said in the morning interview. “You don’t fill a billions of dollars gap easily. It is something we are all obviously going to have to take a look at and tackle. And if, indeed, a structural imbalance exists, we need to figure that out and work toward balancing this issue.”

LEGAL AID SOCIETY SAYS NYPD DATA SHOWS NEED FOR MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION — Shannon reports: Social justice advocates called on Albany lawmakers to make marijuana legalization a top priority in the 2020 legislative session, after the release of new data suggesting low-level marijuana arrests still disproportionately target minorities in New York. Anthony Posada, supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s community justice unit, said that while New York City Police Department data indicates arrests are down, “black and Latino New Yorkers are still disproportionately targeted by the police for low-level marijuana possession, which can trigger months and years of ICE detention and deportation, sever access to essential public benefits and result in the loss of one’s children to foster care.”

PROVIDERS GAINING UPPER HAND UNDER NY SURPRISE BILLING LAW — POLITICO’s Tucker Doherty and POLITICO Pro Datapoint: A state report on arbitration decisions resulting from New York’s surprise billing law shows that providers are now winning price disputes more often than health plans, reversing the trend seen in the law’s initial years.

Odds and Ends

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NOW WE KNOW — The Washington Post reports: “The majority of Facebook advertisements spreading misinformation about vaccines were funded by two anti-vaccine groups, including one led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., according to a study published this week.”

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TODAY’S TIP — Visiting London? Take a trip to the Vagina Museum.

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

STUDY THIS — New research suggests that drug therapy may save lives as effectively as bypass or stenting procedures for patients with blocked arteries, The New York Times reports.

Around New York

VAPING ANNOUNCEMENT — Attorney General Tish James will join anti-vaping advocates and school administrators in making “an important announcement regarding vaping” at her New York City office at 10 a.m.

OPIOID PACKAGING — Sen. Chuck Schumer joined the parents of Maisie Gillan, a 9-month-old from Brighton who reportedly died after accidentally swallowing a methadone pill, in calling for safer packaging for opiods.

SHELTER CHAOS — The City reports that homeless people living on the streets in New York say they would “rather take their chances on trains or sidewalks” than in city shelters.

BODY CAMS — The New York City Council will examine the rollout of NYPD body cameras, Gotham Gazette reports.

NURSES RALLY — Registered nurses at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, who are members of the New York State Nurses Association, plan to rally outside the hospital today. Organizers say the event will call for “safe staffing and a fair contract.”

WOMEN’S HEALTH SERVICES — AdvantageCare Physicians and Northwell Health announced an agreement on Monday that will allow ACPNY patients in the New York area to access Northwell’s facilities for women’s health services.

UPDATES — Mount Sinai Hospital is updating six of its pediatric clinics, the health system announced this week.

ACROSS THE RIVER — The Wall Street Journal reports: “Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey said voters should get the final word on legalizing recreational marijuana. State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Sen. Nicholas Scutari, both Democrats, introduced a bill Monday that would allow voters to decide whether to amend the state’s constitution to allow for the sale and purchase of recreational marijuana.”

Pharma Report

GIVE IT A DAY — Via STAT News: “A group of top biotech venture capitalists are issuing a stark warning to Congress: They won’t be able to pour money into biotech research if Democrats’ signature drug pricing bill becomes law.”

GROWTH SHOT — STAT News reports: “Scientists have come up with a drug, injected once a day, that appears to make children’s bones grow. To many, it’s a wondrous invention that could improve the lives of thousands of people with dwarfism. To others, it’s a profit-driven solution in search of a problem, one that could unravel decades of hard-won respect for an entire community.”

AD BUY — The Hill reports: “A Democratic group is launching $2 million in new digital ads highlighting vulnerable House Democrats’ efforts to lower drug prices.”

What We’re Reading

STOP BREATHIN’ — President Donald Trump is backing off a planned ban on flavored vaping products over concerns relating to job losses, Josh Dawsey and Laurie McGinley reported for The Washington Post. Another factor that influenced his decision: “[There were] worries that apoplectic vape shop owners and their customers might hurt his reelection prospects, said White House and campaign officials.

GOING UP — Employer-sponsored health care is expected to rise by another 5 percent, according to The Associated Press.

RATTLED BY THE RUSH — Joe Biden doesn’t support marijuana legalization, a position that sets the former vice president to the right of other Democratic presidential hopefuls, writes Teo Armus for The Washington Post. While recent survey data from Pew Research Center says that two-thirds of the American public supports legalization, support is considerably weaker among older voters.

MATERNAL MORTALITY — Nearly 90 women in Ohio died of pregnancy-related issues between 2012 and 2016, reports the Columbus Dispatch. More than half of those deaths were preventable.

GRAVE ARCHITECTURE — Late Sunday, four were killed and six were wounded after gunmen opened fire on a backyard barbecue in Fresno, Calif. “What we do know is that this was a gathering, a family and friend gathering in the backyard,” said Lt. Bill Dooley, a spokesman for the Fresno Police Department, according to The Fresno Bee. “Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard and opened fire.”

AT RISK — Undocumented people with mental illness are at greater risk for deportation, NPR reports.

IN CONTROL — Supermodel Bella Hadid said the first time she felt powerful on a runway was when she walked for Rihanna’s Fenty line, WWD reports. She spoke about struggling with her mental health this month at Vogue Fashion Festival in Paris.

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