Friday, October 21, 2016

Department of Homeland Security Investigating Massive Internet Attack


White House Briefing


Spokesman Josh Earnest briefs reporters and responds to questions at the White House on a range of issues, including monitoring of U.S. elections. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

State Department Briefing

 
Spokesman John Kirby briefs reporters and responds to questions at the State Department, including remarks by Secretary Kerry about the “illegal and illegitimate government of North Korea,” and what the comments mean for policy toward the regime. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

'Flashback Friday': Alabama Governor George Wallace on Harlem Uprising (1965)

 
This video was published on YouTube on March 13, 2012. 

On the March 4, 1965 edition of Face the Nation, Alabama Gov. George Wallace on charges of police brutality in Selma, Alabama, the Sunday prior in what is now known as "Bloody Sunday." 

Source:  CBS News

Trailblazers in Black History: Bob Howard


Bob Howard, born Howard Joyner, was an African-American pianist-vocalist on swing records in the 1930s. Born in Newton, Massachusetts, Joyner began singing in New York night clubs in the mid-1920s. He began recording in 1931 under his real name for Columbia. 

Under the name Bob Howard, he played New York's Park Central Hotel, Famous Door, Hickory House and other clubs as well as theaters. He was signed to Decca in late 1934 and recorded a series of hot small group swing records between 1935 and 1938. His studio groups included Benny Carter, Buster Bailey, Rex Stewart, Ben Webster, Teddy Wilson, Russell Procope, Cecil Scott, Cozy Cole, Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw, Babe Russin and others. Howard did not play piano on his Decca's, only sang.

In 1948, Howard hosted the The Bob Howard Show on CBS, making him the first African-American to host a regularly broadcast TV show. 

Additional information is available here.

Source: Wikipedia

The City: Prison’s Grip on the Black Family

 
The Spirals of Poverty and Mass Incarceration Upend Urban Communities
 
Ph


“Be a shield of protection for my baby,” she’d say as part of their daily ritual.

Though she prayed to God for a shield, she served as protector, marching him to and from school like a drum major. Her baby, Khyrie, was 13 then, a quiet, lanky boy with soft features and penetrating eyes. As much as she tried to buffer him from danger, he’d already seen too much. A cousin had recently been murdered. He’d witnessed a host of relatives cycle in and out of prison for drugs, violence or a combination of the two. And many of his friends, without drum majors of their own, seemed to be finding their own beat in the streets.

Dawn knew she didn’t have much longer before that beat got too loud for Khyrie to ignore, or before the cops would begin to see her baby-faced boy as a man. Black men don’t always fare well in neighborhoods like theirs, where trapdoors lay in abundance, ready to snatch them from city blocks and toss them straight to cell blocks, or worse, a grave.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Second Hack Feared, After Massive Cyberattack Knocks Major Websites Offline

The internet was dealt a crippling blow Friday morning as major websites, including Twitter, Spotify and Reddit were inaccessible.

As sites and services across the East Coast began to recover, word came of a possible second wave of attacks. 

The culprit in both cases appeared to be a DDOS — that's distributed denial of service — attack on Dyn, an internet performance management company. 

Click here for summary.

Hedge Fund Investors Withdrew $28.2 Billion in Third Quarter


By Saijel Kishan and Simone Foxman

Hedge fund investors pulled $28.2 billion from the industry in the third quarter, the most since the aftermath of the global financial crisis, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc.

The net outflows, which amount to 0.9 percent of the industry, are the largest since the second quarter of 2009, the firm said Thursday. Investors redeemed $51.5 billion in the first nine months of the year, even as industry assets rose to a record $2.97 trillion, it said. 

Hedge funds have been under pressure from investors critical of high fees and uninspired performance. The Kentucky Retirement Systems’ investment committee voted Oct. 14 to exit hedge funds over a three-year period. Marc Levine, chairman of the Illinois State Board of Investment, said yesterday that the plan had moved two-thirds of its assets to passive management to reduce fees, causing it to withdraw about $1 billion from hedge funds. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Bloomberg (via The Empire Report)

$1 Million in Grant Funding Available for Farmers Across New York State

 
A funding grant of $1 million is available to assist new and early-stage farmers through the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund. Now in its third year, the program builds upon the success of 2015 when more than $743,000 was awarded to 25 early-stage farms across the state to support the continued growth of New York’s agriculture industry. To date, nearly $1.4 million has been provided to 41 farms throughout New York State to expand their operations and improve their profitability.

"New York's farmers are a rich part of this state's heritage and remain essential to the success of our economy," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will support the expansion of farms as they increase production and help ensure this remains a strong and sustainable industry for generations to come."

The $1 million New Farmers Grant Fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 to assist with up to 50 percent of eligible project costs, with the remaining 50 percent being matched by the recipient. All owners of eligible farms must be within the first ten years of ownership and the farm must have a minimum of $10,000 in income from sales of products grown or raised on the farm. Eligible project costs include the purchase of farm machinery, supplies and equipment, and construction or improvement of farm structures. Empire State Development, in consultation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, administers the fund.

This year, the program has eliminated the 150 acres or less requirement and is now accepting farm applicants of all sizes. The application and guidelines for the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund are available online. The deadline for submission is January 27, 2017.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie said, "Across our state, the New Farmers Grant Fund is providing people who are new to agriculture with the resources necessary to start their businesses, and those who are just starting with the support they need to continue on the road to success. I have been proud to advocate for funding of the New Farmers Grant Fund, which will continue to help to protect the future of our state’s leading industry, and encourage those looking to pursue careers in farming to apply for funding." 

Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee said, "It is important that we support beginning farmers with tools and training, and that we make available the resources they need to go forward with a career in agricultural production. The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund will benefit those who have the desire to farm, as well as everyone who has an appreciation for New York grown products, and I thank Governor Cuomo for incentivizing and encouraging careers in farming through these awards."

Additionally, the Department of Agriculture and Markets recently launched a resource page for new farmers interested in starting their own farm and early-stage farmers looking to diversify or expand operations. Resources for New Farmers, located on the Department's website, provides information on state regulations, job training, land ownership, farm financing, marketing and other areas critical to starting a farm operation.  

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

'House of Justice' Rally Will Call for Community Summit on Policing in the Wake of Deborah Danner Shooting

 
On October 22, at 9:30 a.m., Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network (NAN) will hold a rally at the organization's headquarters and urge Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill to  conduct a community summit on policing. 

Rev. Sharpton is calling for the summit in effort to address growing concern and dissent over shootings of African-Americans by NYPD officers, including the recent shooting of Deborah Danner in the Bronx.  

Minister Kirsten John Foy, Northeast Regional Director of NAN, Donna Lieberman, President of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), Councilman Rory Lancman, Assemblyman Michael Blake, Marisol Alacantara - Senator-elect replacing State Senator Adriano Espaillat, and other elected officials, community activists and civil rights leaders are expected to be in attendance.

The event will be held at the "House of Justice", located at 106 West 145 Street at Malcolm X Blvd., and broadcast on WLIB 1190 AM. 

The rally will also be streamed live at http://nationalactionnetwork.net/.

Sanders to Host Community Meeting to Discuss Jamaica Bay Reformulation Study

 
Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) will host a community meeting where the Army Corps of Engineers and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will present the latest version of plans for protecting the Rockaway Peninsula, Broad Channel, the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet, and the Jamaica Bay Reformulation Study.

This is a community meeting the residents of Arverne/ Historic Somerville, Edgemere, Bayswater, and the eastern end of the Peninsula have been demanding for some time.  Continuous flooding during high tide and disastrous weather have been plaguing the Rockaway community for years.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Macedonia Baptist Church located at 330 Beach 67th Street, Arverne, New York.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Senator Sanders' office at 718-327-7017. 

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders, Jr.  

Trump Foundation Paid Activist Filmmaker James O'Keefe

At the third presidential debate, Donald Trump invoked a video that says supporters of Hillary Clinton were paid to incite violence at one of his rallies in Chicago. It was an attack thread to emphasize that her campaign was "sleazy."

But what Trump didn't say is that he has paid the filmmaker who he says uncovered the story.

The video, which was just released earlier this week and made by conservative activist James O'Keefe of Project Veritas, was paid $10,000 by the Trump Foundation in May of 2015 - one month before Trump's announcement of candidacy. 

Click here for the full article.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rigging the Election - Video I: Clinton Campaign and DNC Incite Violence at Trump Rallies

 
This video was published on YouTube on October 17, 2016. 
 
The following was written by Project Veritas. 

In this explosive new video from Project Veritas Action, a Democratic dirty tricks operative unwittingly provides a dark money trail to the DNC and Clinton campaign. The video documents violence at Trump rallies that is traced to the Clinton campaign and the DNC through a process called birddogging.

A shady coordinated communications chain between the DNC, Clinton Campaign, Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC (Priorities) and other organizations are revealed. A key Clinton operative is on camera saying, “It doesn’t matter what the friggin’ legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherf**ker."

Part II of this video is also available on YouTube. 

Warning: The video is uncensored and contains strong language. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and South Korean Defense Minister Hold Joint News Conference

 

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min Koo hold a joint news conference at the Pentagon. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Donald Trump Tells Ohio Voters He Will Accept the Election Results If He Wins (Full Video)

 
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says, “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if I win.” He speaks at a campaign rally at the Delaware County Fair in Delaware, Ohio. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

'Saving Our Youth' Series: Craig Pinkney, The Real Roots of Youth Violence

 
This video was published on YouTube on July 5, 2016. 

Video games and hip hop music often take the rap for inciting violence in the young, but urban youth specialist and lecturer Craig Pinkney knows that is far from the whole story. He shares his experience in engaging disaffected and violent youth, going beyond systems to find the root causes. He also calls for this to move from ‘not my problem’, to an issue with much greater community support.
 
Pinkney is a Criminologist, Urban Youth Specialist, Lecturer and Director of Real Action UK - a charitable outreach organisation based in Birmingham who specialise in working with disaffected youth. Notable projects include: ‘Don’t Get Gassed’ a national anti-knife crime campaign which has over 50,000 views on YouTube. 

Source: TEDx Talks

Trailblazers in Black History: Captain Michael Healy

 
Michael Augustine Healy was an American captain in the United States Revenue Cutter Service (predecessor of the United States Coast Guard).

Following U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward's Alaska purchase of the vast region in 1867, Healy patrolled the 20,000 miles (32,000 km) of Alaskan coastline for more than 20 years, earning great respect from the natives and seafarers alike. After commercial fishing had depleted the whale and seal populations, his assistance with introduction of Siberian reindeer helped prevent starvation among the native Alaskans.

Nicknamed "Hell Roaring Mike," Healy was the son of an Irish-born planter and his African-American slave and was later recognized as the first man of African-American descent to command a ship of the United States government. The author Jack London was inspired by his command of the USRC Bear. Commissioned in 1999, the USCGC Healy was named in his honor.

Additional information is available here

Source: Wikipedia

From 'Puppets' to 'Bad Hombres,' Highlights from the Third Presidential Debate


CDC's New Miami Zika 'Red Zone' Means Stay Out for Pregnant Women

Federal health officials have made a new color-coded map for Miami and say pregnant women should stay out of the "red zone" — where Zika virus is actively infecting new people daily.

And they say pregnant women should consider postposing all travel to Miami-Dade county for the time being, designating the entire county a "yellow zone." 

"Pregnant women should specifically avoid travel to red areas because the intensity of Zika virus transmission confirmed in these areas is a significant risk to pregnant women," the CDC said in a statement. 

Click here for the full article.

Yahoo, ACLU Press U.S. to Disclose Secret Surveillance Orders

Yahoo on Wednesday asked U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to declassify a surveillance order the company had received so it can respond to a Reuters report that it set up a special program last year to scan all Yahoo Mail users' incoming messages.

Separately, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion before the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asking it to release the Yahoo order and over 20 other significant rulings dating back more than a decade. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

I-Team: Senate Candidate in Harlem 'Kool Aid' Firestorm Faces New Rental Scam Allegations

A New York State Senate candidate who sparked a firestorm after telling the I-Team he was planning to hand out "Kool Aid, KFC and watermelons" at a campaign event in Harlem faces new accusations over an alleged rental scam.

On Wednesday, a Manhattan grand jury indicted 38-year-old Jon Girodes, the Republican candidate for New York’s 30th District in the November election, on grand larceny charges in connection with a suspected scheme where he allegedly stiffed renters out of deposit money for a midtown apartment and then left them with no place to live.

Girodes remained in jail, unable to post the $75,000 bond. His attorney has not responded to repeated requests for comment. 

The I-Team spoke with nearly a dozen people who responded to a Craigslist ad, discovering later that Girodes rented them the same apartment, at the same time. They said he made excuses why they couldn’t move in, leaving them homeless.  

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News - 4 New York

Assemblyman Michael Blake on Danner Shooting: 'Enough is Enough!'


Statement by the Assembly Member

#EnoughisEnough. The inexplicable use of excessive force against Deborah Danner is a reminder that training must be dramatically changed and persons must be fired not placed on modified duty.

This instance was a clear failure by that Sergeant to handle the situation properly.  NYPD Commissioner O’Neil stated, “We do have policies and procedures for handling emotionally disturbed people and it looks like some of those procedures weren’t followed.”

Unfortunately, this is a narrative we see too often, which is why we need a thorough examination of officer training and the rules around use of force and excessive force, especially the rules around lethal force. Whether it is being slammed against a gate or losing your life despite being mentally ill, there does not seem to be a de-escalation approach being taken but rather a use force first and get asked questions later.

If we are ever going to see justice in this case, we need to have a full investigation of the facts, and, the officer involved must be held accountable for his actions.  For a greater chance of transparency, I hope that Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will investigate this matter fully because again #EnoughisEnough.  

Assemblyman Blake's Statement on the Passing of Venida Browder

I am still processing last week's tragic loss of Mrs. Venida Browder, the loving mother of Kalief. After all that her son and family have been through, her heart literally couldn't take the pain any longer and she succumbed to a heart attack. I pray that we stand with the family who needs our love, thoughts and prayers yet again.  My team is in constant contact with the family so that they know that anything they need, we are here for them.  Let us honor Kalief and Venida's legacies by finally Raising The Age next year so that more lives are not lost due to a system that inexplicably treats 16 and 17 year old youth as adults. Thoughts and prayers are welcome, but legislative action and honorable service are what is truly required to honor their lives. 

Source: The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake

Rapper Bobby Shmurda Gets 7 Years in NYC Gang War Case

Bobby Shmurda, a rapper once on the rise thanks to a viral music video that popularized the "Shmoney dance," was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday after claiming he was railroaded into taking a guilty plea on charges he conspired with a violent drug gang.

"I want to withdraw my plea," a defiant Shmurda said during his sentencing in a Manhattan courtroom. "I was forced by my attorney to take the plea. I was forced."

New York state court Justice Abraham Clott denied the request and imposed the seven-year term that was agreed to as part of a plea deal that spared Shmurda from going to trial on multiple counts carrying penalties that could have put him behind bars for decades.

The 22-year-old Shmurda, whose birth name is Ackquille Pollard, is best known for "Hot Boy," a gritty hit song with rhymes about gunplay. He and Chad "Rowdy Rebel" Marshall - another aspiring hip-hop artist who also pleaded guilty in the same case - gained notoriety with their performance in the "Shmoney dance" video, which has about 15 million YouTube views. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News - 4 New York (via The Empire Report) 

NY Regulations to Promote Breastfeeding

 
ALBANY -- New York will install regulations next year to encourage new mothers to breastfeed.

The state Health Department on Wednesday said the new regulations will help mothers in the state's 126 birthing hospitals to begin breastfeeding right after babies are born.

Hospitals will be required, unless there is a medical reason otherwise, to place newborns with their mothers immediately after delivery.

The goal, the state said, is that skin-to-skin contact between infants and their mothers lead to better breathing and heart rates in the newborn and allows for a greater chance of breastfeeding.

“The amended regulations help ensure that we provide the support and encouragement new mothers need to breastfeed their babies and continue to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months,” Howard Zucker, commissioner of health, said in a statement.

New York's breastfeeding rates are well below the national target, the health department said.

In New York, 44 percent of newborns in New York are breastfed within the first few days of life, compared to the national target of 70 percent, the agency said. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: WGRZ.com (via The Empire Report)

Non-Nuclear Power Plants Sue to Stop Subsidies for CNY Nukes

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Several owners of fossil fuel-burning power plants sued New York utility regulators today seeking to block millions of dollars in subsidy payments for the struggling nuclear generators in Oswego and Wayne counties.

The plaintiffs, including companies that own the Sithe Independence and Oswego Steam generating stations in Oswego, contend that New York's new nuclear subsidy program illegally interferes with wholesale power markets.

Officials at the state Public Service Commission responded by calling the lawsuit a "frivolous'' attempt to thwart efforts to combat climate change.

The PSC in August approved a new "clean energy standard'' aimed at boosting renewable energy and cutting carbon emissions. The most controversial provision was a plan to subsidize Upstate nuclear plants that might otherwise close for financial reasons, preserving their carbon-free power output for 12 years. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Syracuse.com (via The Empire Report)

SUNY Professor Says Trump Win At Least 87 Percent Certain; Other Polls 'Bunk'



Stony Brook, N.Y. — A SUNY professor continues to project Donald Trump as the likely winner of this year's election and he's critiquing polls that predict the opposite in a new opinion piece.

Helmut Norpoth has been predicting a Trump victory since early this year. His model currently projects a win for the Republican with a certainty of 87 to 99 percent.

Norpoth is a professor at Stony Brook University on Long Island.

That flies in the face of just about every other major election forecast out there, which mostly give an edge to Democrat Hillary Clinton, notes the Daily Mail.

Norpoth wrote in The Hill that although the race looks decided, current polling methods are "bunk." 

Click here for the full article.

Source: Syracuse.com (via The Empire Report) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New York Peace Institute to Address 32nd Precinct Community Council and Harlem Residents


The 32nd Precinct Community Council will host the New York Peace Institute during its October meeting.

The event, which is scheduled for October 20 at 7 p.m., will be held at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Center, located at 34 West 134th Street. 

According to its website, "The New York Peace Institute empowers people to find creative and durable solutions to their disputes. It teaches vital conflict resolution skills to communities and organizations, and it advances the field by training and certifying professional mediators."

The Community Affairs Bureau is encouraging everyone in the community to attend their local monthly Precinct Community Council Meeting. Its goal is to continue strengthening the relationships it has with the communities it serves. 

"Community members are our partners in reducing crime and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods," said a bureau spokesperson.


Source: The 32nd Precinct Community Council

State Dinner for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi


Former White House Social Secretary Julianna Smoot joined C-SPAN for coverage of a White House state dinner in honor of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. It was the final state dinner hosted by President Obama. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Secretaries John Kerry and Ashton Carter Meet with South Korean Officials

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Electoral Integrity in the 2016 Election

 
Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D) joins by phone to discuss Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s warning that the upcoming election is “rigged,” as well as what secretaries of state can do to ensure electoral integrity.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Education Secretary John King on Civic Engagement and U.S. Schools

 

Education Secretary John King delivers remarks at the National Press Club on the role played by U.S. schools to prepare students for civic engagement, as well as the Obama administration’s legacy on education policy. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on House Democratic Agenda

 
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to reporters at the Capitol about her party’s legislative agenda, as well as the possibility of retaking the House majority on Election Day. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Hollywood & Race: Imitation of Life (1959)


Trailblazers in Black History: The Fifth Dimension


Source: Jake Schlack

Presidential Debate: Five Things To Watch in the Final Joust

LAS VEGAS — The final presidential debate may be Donald Trump's last best chance to turn around an election in which Hillary Clinton appears to be decisively pulling away.

But after scattershot performances in the two previous debates for Trump, time is running out. The GOP nominee's campaign has been sinking deeper into dark conspiracy theories, while Clinton has been trying to close her campaign on high note.

After slogging through what is widely seen as the ugliest presidential campaign in recent memory, it will be the last time Clinton and Trump meet on the same stage together — they didn't even shake each others' hands at the last debate — with just three weeks to go before Election Day.

Here are five things to watch: 

1. First debate Clinton or second debate Clinton?

Clinton pummeled Donald Trump in the kickoff debate at Hofstra University, while at the second, at Washington University in St. Louis, she stepped back to engender sympathy while Trump pummeled her. Both approaches worked, with Clinton seen as the clear winner in post-debate surveys.

Clinton has eased up lately after months of attacking Trump, with aides suggesting his negative ratings are as low as they can go. She's switched gears and is trying now to channel the disgust so many Americans are feeling about an election that "makes you want to unplug the internet or just look at cat GIFs," as she said last week.

Clinton is well positioned to give Trump a finishing move. But she may opt to deflect his attacks and attempt a discussion of policy to let the contrast in their approaches speak for itself.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

VP Biden to Accept Cancer Award in Honor of His Son, Beau

Ecuador Cut Off Assange's Access to the Internet - So This Man Is Reading It to Him


by Alyssa Newcomb 

After WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's internet service was cut off by the Ecuadorian embassy where he is holed up, one man sought to bring the internet back for the cloistered Queenslander.

Armed with a bullhorn and a sign that reads "Julian Assange's Personal Internet Service," Canadian comedian Bobby Mair has been standing outside the embassy shouting the news of the day to Assange. 

Click here for summary.

Source: NBC News

Surprises on the Forbes 400, as Tech Titans Overtake Investors


Tech titans and soaring stock prices have shaken up Forbes' annual list of the richest people in America, with a surprise in the second spot — but no surprise at the top.

The Forbes 400 list, which tabulates the wealth of America's wealthiest individuals, ranks Bill Gates as America's richest man for the 23rd year running, with a net worth of $81 billion. Amazon's Jeff Bezos leapfrogged over billionaire investor Warren Buffett to snag second place, with a net worth of $67 billion to Buffett's $65 billion. 

Click here for the full article.

Action Taken to Ensure Health Insurers Provide Coverage for Necessary Substance Abuse Treatment

 
The Department of Financial Services has issued guidance to health insurers outlining new insurance coverage requirements for substance abuse treatment. The action follows landmark legislation signed by the Governor earlier this year to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in New York State. 

Under the new law, health insurers will be required to cover medication, including naloxone, for detoxification or maintenance treatment of substance use disorders under large group policies. This new requirement mirrors the coverage requirements for individual and small group policies. Health insurers will also be required to provide coverage without preauthorization for inpatient substance abuse treatment in facilities that participate in their networks and are certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

“Health insurers have an obligation to cover costs for lifesaving substance abuse treatment and our administration will have zero tolerance for those who seek to sidestep this responsibility,” Governor Cuomo said. “This action is an important step toward breaking the cycle of addiction and put an ending the epidemic of opioid abuse in New York once and for all.”

Maria T. Vullo, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, “The guidance issued today outlines the specific requirements insurers must satisfy, and DFS will enforce, to ensure that New Yorkers suffering from opioid abuse receive the kinds of treatment, such as inpatient and outpatient coverage for detoxification, that are essential for recovery so that they can rebuild their lives.”

The new guidance issued today alerts health insurers that they must provide inpatient and outpatient coverage for detoxification and maintenance treatment medication, including naloxone. It also instructs health insurers that they must eliminate prior authorization requirements for a five-day emergency supply of prescribed medications for the treatment of substance use disorder when an emergency arises. The guidance by DFS outlines insurer utilization review requirements, and includes timeframes under which the utilization review determinations must be made by health insurers.

The landmark legislation signed by Governor Cuomo was a comprehensive package of bills passed as part of the 2016 Legislative Session. The measures marked a major step forward in the fight to expand access to treatment and community prevention strategies, as well as to limit the over-prescription of opioids. The legislation included best practices and recommendations identified by the Governor’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, of which DFS Superintendent Vullo is a member, which built on the state’s aggressive efforts to break the cycle of heroin and opioid addiction and protect public health and safety.

DFS will review health insurers’ compliance with requirements for coverage during market conduct exams and will take action against any insurers found to have failed to meet all statutory and regulatory requirements for coverage of substance use disorder treatment. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo