A head-scratcher in the health budget (updated) by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

Albany’s practice of doling out millions in “bullet aid” to certain school districts at the behest of favored legislators has become a familiar ritual of pork-barrel politics. But a little-noticed provision of this year’s budget directs $30 million to a single nursing home in the Bronx, which is unusual even by the standards of New York State government.

DFS in denial on health plan collapse by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

The recent collapse of Health Republic Insurance—disrupting health coverage for 215,000 state residents, and leaving doctors and hospitals with upwards of $200 million in unpaid claims—should have been cause for soul-searching at the state Department of Financial Services (DFS).

Instead, based on the department’s first extensive public comments on the issue, given at a legislative panel last week, DFS officials seem to be in denial about their role in the demise of Health Republic, the largest non-profit health insurance cooperative set up three years ago under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Toeing the Obamacare line in NY** by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Although the botched Affordable Care Act (ACA) rollout is shaping up nationally as a political and bureaucratic disaster, the Cuomo administration is warning New York health insurance agents and brokers not to try to get around the new Obamacare requirements for small group health plans here.