MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Dec. 15, 2020

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Manhattan Lawmakers Beckon New York to Help Healthcare Providers in Crisis

Richard N. Gottfried (Photo Credit: nyassembly.gov)
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

Yesterday, Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and Linda Rosenthal (D-Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen) and State Senators Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) wrote an op-ed for the NY Daily News, entitled “A hit to safety-net health-care providers we must prevent”.

The article focuses on a largely overlooked rule change that was enacted during this year’s budget negotiations. This year’s state budget disallows Medicaid managed care plans from covering the costs of prescription drugs; going forward, Medicaid patients will have to get their prescription drugs directly from the state.

The problem? Many community health providers rely on the federal program 340B, which allows them to purchase drugs at a much lower price. But federal law mandates that this only applies to drugs they purchase under Medicaid managed care plans.

“If New York State shifts Medicaid drug coverage away from managed care, the way it was done in the budget, these non-profit safety-net providers will lose hundreds of millions of dollars they now use for patient care,” they wrote. “The benefit will no longer help the safety net providers the 340B program was created to help. How the Cuomo administration will use the money is anybody’s guess.”

Read the full article here.


Maloney Sends Out Somber Letter in Remembrance of Sandy Hook Massacre

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (Photo credit: maloney.house.gov)
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) sent out the following letter on Dec. 14, the eighth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting:

“Today, on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, I can’t help but be haunted by what could have been for the young children and brave teachers whose lives were cut short that fateful day. But merely honoring and remembering those who have been harmed by senseless acts of gun violence isn’t enough to keep our children safe. Our thoughts and prayers will not bring back lives, erase painful trauma, or prevent guns from reaching the wrong hands.

“If we are going to combat the gun violence crisis in this country, we need immediate action on gun legislation. That’s why I’ve pushed for policies that would address gun violence from every angle, such as bills to provide funding for gun violence prevention, close gun show loopholes, block gun trafficking, and more. While it shouldn’t take the commemoration of a mass shooting to highlight the urgent need for gun reform, today serves as a meaningful reminder of how critical this issue is.

“I will continue fighting to bring gun legislation to the floor, but for today, let’s take a moment to remember the victims of the tragic Sandy Hook Shooting.”


Cuomo Announces First Dose of COVID Vaccine Administered in NY

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit: www.governor.ny.gov)
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that New York has officially become the first state in the union to vaccinate one of its residents against COVID-19.

The nation’s first vaccine recipient was Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. After receiving the vaccine, Lindsay told Governor Cuomo that she was “feeling well” and assured all her colleagues that the vaccine was safe.

“We trust science here in New York,” said Cuomo. “The federal government approved the vaccine. We then had a separate panel that also approved the vaccine and we’ve been following the science all along. I hope this gives you, and the healthcare workers who are battling this every day, a sense of security and safety and a little more confidence in doing your job once the second vaccine has been administered.

“In New York we prioritized healthcare workers at the top of the list to receive the vaccine, because we know that you are out there every day putting your lives in danger for the rest of us, so we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep you safe. And the point about New Yorkers and Americans having to do their part and take the vaccine, because the vaccine only works if the American people take it.”


Levine to Host Townhall on City Vaccination Plan

Council Member Mark Levine (Photo credit: Credit Emil Cohen/NY City Council)
Council Member Mark Levine

Today, Councilmember Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) will be hosting a townhall meeting on the first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations in New York.

Levine, along with Health Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi, will be informing viewers who will be first in line to receive the vaccine, and how they can prepare for the second wave of COVID-19 in the City.

The event will take place today from 5-6 p.m. over Zoom. To register, click here.

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