Single payer, double standard by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The New York City Council's vote of support on Tuesday for a statewide single-payer health plan showed curious timing from a fiscal point of view. Two weeks before, sponsors of the New York Health Act told union officials that they were changing the bill in ways that could cost the city billions of dollars per year. Details of these high-stakes changes won't be available until next month, yet Council members chose to back the measure anyway – effectively endorsing a blank check. [Read_more]

Cuomo holds course by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday again vetoed a pair of union-backed bills designed to sweeten pensions and discourage use of private contractors by state agencies—a positive signal for his third term. [Read_more]

Highest legislative pay ever? by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

A recommended 64 percent pay increase for New York’s state legislators would give lawmakers the highest inflation-adjusted salary in the nation and in state history. [Read_more]

Single-payer gets even more costly by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The already extraordinary cost of a proposed state-run single-payer health plan jumped even higher this week when the chief sponsor, Assembly Health Chairman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, announced that it would be expanded to cover long-term care. [Read_more]

Bills could signal sea change by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The fate of two government union-backed bills now awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature will give an indication of how the governor will tackle major fiscal issues in his third term. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s cut of CVS-Aetna by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

In approving the $69 billion merger of CVS and Aetna, the state Department of Financial Services attached a noteworthy condition: The two companies must forward $40 million to the state of New York. It was the second time this year that the Cuomo administration has leveraged its regulatory authority over a health insurance company to extract a large sum of cash. [Read_more]

Teachers union shrinks after Janus by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

New York’s statewide teachers union is collecting cash from 28,057 fewer people than it was before the Supreme Court ruling that ended compulsory union fees for public employees. [Read_more]

AlbanyCare and property taxes by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The latest too-good-to-be-true argument for single-payer comes from Albany City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar, who claims that a government-funded statewide health plan would dramatically reduce property taxes. In reality, the savings for local taxpayers, if any, would likely be a fraction of what Shahinfar estimates. And they would come at the cost of the largest increase in state taxes that New York has ever seen, not to mention wholesale disruption of the entire health-care system. [Read_more]

Side effects of the opioid tax by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Industry lawsuits filed against Governor Cuomo's $100 million opioid tax, summarized in today's Wall Street Journal, are raising fresh questions about the levy's fairness and unintended side effects. [Read_more]

State $hortfalls shrinking by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York State's budget outlook for fiscal 2020 is improving, according to the Mid-Year Financial Plan update issued today by Governor Cuomo's Division of the Budget (DOB)

The Mid-Year Update—released 10 days past the Oct. 30 deadline, keeping alive the Governor's perfect record of annual tardiness—pegs the budget gap at $3.070 billion for the fiscal year that starts next April 1.  That's down from $4.027 billion as of the end of the first fiscal quarter. [Read_more]
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