State’s pork barrel fund needs oversight The Daily Gazette Editorial

The Empire Center, a government watchdog group in Albany, calls it the “biggest, murkiest, pork-barrel slush fund Albany (and perhaps any state capital) has ever seen.”

The allocation is slipped into the state budget without any explanation from legislative leaders and the governor.

Health care budget roundup by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

Now that the state budget is put to bed for another year, here is a non-comprehensive rundown of health care-related highlights and lowlights.

Where the ‘excess’ reserves are by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

Governor Cuomo’s proposal to expropriate “excess” reserves from Medicaid managed care plans would apparently target just two insurers—Fidelis Care and MetroPlus—even though their reserve levels are not unusually high.

NY health care’s real crisis by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

As Albany lawmakers consider imposing costly new taxes and mandates on health insurance, a report from the New York State Health Foundation offers a timely reminder: The state’s insurance premiums are already among the highest in the country, and rising fast.