Governor Cuomo's efforts to reduce maternal mortality have put New York's doulas on the path to state regulation – and some of them want to get off.
In the name of lowering drug costs, state lawmakers are on the brink of passing hastily drafted and ill-considered legislation that would risk driving those costs even higher.
Dozens of the health-care bills percolating through the Legislature in the closing days of session have one thing in common: They would add to the already high price of health insurance in New York State.
Two pension funds affiliated with 1199 SEIU, the state's largest and most influential union for health-care workers, recently disclosed that they are in critical status due to funding or liquidity problems for an 11th straight year.
The balance of unspent money in the Essential Plan Trust Fund ballooned to a new high of $1.2 billion as of March 31, records from the comptroller's office show. The surplus more than tripled since the same time last year – even as the Trump administration disrupted federal aid for the program, which provides health coverage to low-income New Yorkers, and the Cuomo administration diverted $635 million in Essential Plan funds to subsidize struggling hospitals.
The scores of New York's nursing homes dipped to an average of 3.19 out of 5 stars in the federal government's latest Nursing Home Compare report card, down from 3.33 in January. However, the national average dropped even further, from 3.35 stars to 3.06. New York's standing improved from 31st to 27th among the 50 states.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has apparently doubled the price tag of her Medicare buy-in proposal, from 4 percent of income to 8 percent – but the math still does not add up.
The new state budget features a larger-than-usual increase in Medicaid spending and two new coverage mandates for private insurers – adding to the already steep costs of health care for New York's taxpayers and policyholders.
In a "Groundhog Day"-like replay of tactics from last year, health-care interests are again using an unlikely threat of spending cuts in Washington to demand special treatment in the upcoming state budget.
The question now is whether the governor and the Legislature will play along with the movie for a second time in a row – and whether it will have the same ugly ending.
New York’s hospitals are in the throes of two seemingly contradictory trends. Their collective revenues are showing strong growth, yet more and more of them are chronically operating in the red.
Governor Cuomo is now backing away from Medicaid spending cuts he pushed less than four weeks ago, his second about-face on health-care funding so far this year. Even more head-spinning is his stated rationale: the supposed threat to federal aid outlined in President Trump's budget proposal this week.
Star ratings for New York hospitals went from bad to worse in a newly updated Hospital Compare report card from the federal government.