Prescription Drug Co-pay Costs Limitations (A8278 Kellner, S5000 Duane)
A number of health insurance companies have adopted a new pricing system for very expensive drugs in which they abandon the traditional system where patients pay a fixed co-pay amount like $10, $25, or $50, no matter what the drug’s actual cost. Instead, this new pricing system requires patients to pay a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, usually 20 to 33 percent, which can amount to thousands of dollars a month for vital, often life-saving medications. This legislation prohibits health insurers and health maintenance organizations from creating such specialty tiers within their prescription drug formularies.
Restrict Bisphenol A in Children’s Products
BPA is a widely used chemical found in many products, including baby bottles, drinking cups, sports drinking bottles, and dental sealants. A 2008 study found that BPA was detected in 93 percent of urine samples in a survey of the U.S. population. This chemical mimics the hormone estrogen, causes cell proliferation as well as mammary tumors and lesions in laboratory animals, alters genetic processes, interferes with normal immune function, and affects male reproductive systems, causing adverse changes to testes, testosterone, and sperm development. Low-dose exposure during vulnerable periods of human growth—especially during pre-natal development, early childhood, and puberty—could predispose women and men to breast cancer and other health disorders later in life. Twelve other states have introduced legislation banning BPA in children’s products and three NYS County Legislatures have recently done so. New York State should do the same.
New York Healthy & Green Procurement Initiative
This initiative urges the legislature to pass legislation that reflects a new precautionary approach to health and environmental policy, and that focuses on the responsibility of government to study the potential for harm from a new technology, practice, product, or chemical before they are procured and to seek safer, available alternatives.