Bending NY’s Medicaid curve by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Per-recipient spending by New York's Medicaid program has long far exceeded the national norm, a telling symptom of inefficiency in the state's health plan for the poor. But the gap appears to have narrowed significantly during Governor Andrew Cuomo's term, with New York's spending rate falling at about twice the national average between 2010 and 2014. [Read_more]

Another slow-growth sign for upstate by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The latest federal estimates of the 2014-15 change in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by metropolitan area provide a fresh perspective on upstate New York's persistent economic weakness.

With a real (inflation-adjusted) GDP gain of 2 percent—good enough to rank 154 out of the nation's 382 largest metros—Albany-Schenectady-Troy was upstate New York's fastest-growing area last year, according to preliminary estimates from the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Affairs (BEA). The average GDP growth for all U.S. metro areas was 2.5 percent. [Read_more]

August jobs: more of the same by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York's preliminary employment numbers August were a near-repeat of July: private-sector job creation in the Empire State trailed the national average, with nearly all the net gains concentrated in New York City and its surrounding suburbs. [Read_more]

RIP, “Rapp” by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Republicans never held more than 58 of the 150 seats in New York State Assembly during Clarence D. “Rapp” Rappleyea’s 12 years as their minority leader. Yet Rappleyea, who died Sunday at age 82, was among the most consequential New York State legislative leaders of the 20th century. [Read_more]

NY’s Labor Day “arrows” by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

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Governor Cuomo frequently asserts that "the arrows are pointed in the right direction" for the upstate New York economy, thanks to state policy changes under his leadership.

But approaching the sixth Labor Day of Cuomo's tenure, the latest job statistics continued to tell a different story. [Read_more]

The new (old) normal of NY pensions by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

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The Empire State's largest public pension plan still has not fully recovered from the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2008-09, a new report from the state comptroller's office confirms. [Read_more]

DiNapoli confirms: upstate sluggish by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has just issued a report confirming what employment statistics have been showing: upstate New York's economy has lagged behind the nation and downstate regions for years now. [Read_more]
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