A09648 Summary:

BILL NOA09648
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07049
 
SPONSORCrespo
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 2507, Pub Health L
 
Provides that participants in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children may receive foods from any vendor approved by such program, including infant formula.
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A09648 Actions:

BILL NOA09648
 
03/24/2016referred to health
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A09648 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A9648
 
SPONSOR: Crespo
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to access to the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children   PURPOSE: Ensure that participants in the WIC program have access to all WIC approved products, including specialty and exempt formulas, at any WIC approved vendors.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill adds a new section 2507 to the public health law. The new § 2507 includes definitions and states that participants in the WIC program have the right to redeem any food instruments at any WIC food vendor including food instruments for any form of infant formula approved by WIC. This new section allows the Department to promulgate rules and regu- lations regarding fraud prevention to ensure the integrity of the program and fulfill federal mandates for cost containment. Section two of the bill establishes and effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In January of 2014 the New York State Department of Health (DOH) decided to change its rules for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC Program) by announcing that the only WIC vendors allowed to redeem checks for infant formulas issued with a prescription, which DOH labels as exempt formula, would be pharmacies or stores with a pharmacy department. Vendors were informed of this new rule on February 2014. DOH carried out this important rules change with- out any input from the various stakeholders involved in the WIC program and in doing so greatly reduced the choices available for participants when it comes to obtaining the food they need to ensure that their chil- dren get the nutrition they need. This rules change negatively affects the ability of WIC participants to get the products they are being prescribed when they visit their nutri- tionist by limiting the number of vendors that provide this formula. In addition, given the nature of retail in New York City, most of the vendors who would be able to redeem checks for prescription formula are not vendors who sell fresh fruits and produce. The Federal and State governments have been pushing to increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to combat obesity and other diseases. Ensuring the pregnant women, infant, and children have access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a very important public initiative and DOH's rule change undermines this initiative in New York City by forcing participants to shop at stores that generally don't offer fresh fruits and vegetables. It has long been recognized that poor children lag behind non-poor chil- dren on a wide range of indicators of physical, mental, academic, and economic well-being. Poor children are more likely to have health, behavioral, learning, and emotional problems. This is especially true of poor children whose families experience deep poverty, those who are poor during early childhood, and those who are poor for a long time. Poor children are also more likely to be food insecure, and food insecu- rity in households with children is associated with inadequate intake of several important nutrients, deficits in cognitive development, behav- ioral problems, and poor health. The overall health of a child relates closely with pediatric obesity. There are increased risks for diseases associated with pediatric obesity and they are predicted to negatively impact the life expectancy of the current generation of American children. Because the early childhood onset of obesity is a strong predictor of the persistence of obesity into adolescence and adulthood finding effective strategies to promote healthy eating among young, low-income children is critical to curbing the childhood obesity epidemic. For these reasons, there is a push to improve the quality and amount of fresh fruit and vegetables that are eaten. One such WIC program is the WIC Vegetables and Fruits Check Program. This is used to allow the WIC recipients to shop with approved for Farmers Market vendors. These vendors must go through a process and be approved by NY State. One June 24, 2015 Governor Cuomo announced an additional $658 million to support access to the WIC program in New York. This expansion of funding by the Governor showcases the important that we have given ensuring access to fresh fruits and vegetables to families across New York State. Given the importance the State has given to ensuring that all eligible individuals participate in WIC and the importance of making sure that infants and children have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, it makes no sense to severely limit the number of WIC approved vendors capable of providing women with specialty or exempt formula.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become law, provided that effective immediately the Department of Health shall begin to promulgate any rules and regulations necessary to imple- ment this act.
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A09648 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          9648
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     March 24, 2016
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. CRESPO -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Health
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  public health law, in relation to access to the
          special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  The  public health law is amended by adding a new section
     2  2507 to read as follows:
     3    § 2507. Access to  the  special  supplemental  nutrition  program  for
     4  women, infants and children. 1. Definitions. As used in this section:
     5    (a)  "Food  instrument" means a WIC check, drawn on the account of the
     6  department, exchangeable for products approved under WIC.
     7    (b) "Participant" means a person who is eligible  to  receive  supple-
     8  mental foods or food instruments under WIC.
     9    (c)  "WIC" means the special supplemental nutrition program for women,
    10  infants and children, authorized by the Federal Child Nutrition  Act  of
    11  1966.
    12    (d)  "WIC  food  vendor"  means  a food vendor which has a contract in
    13  effect with a local agency  to  supply  supplemental  foods  to  persons
    14  receiving WIC benefits.
    15    2.  In order to maximize access to nutritious foods to participants in
    16  WIC, such participants shall have the right to redeem  food  instruments
    17  at  any  WIC  food  vendor,  including  food instruments authorizing the
    18  purchase of any form of infant formula approved by WIC.
    19    3. The department may promulgate rules  and  regulations  establishing
    20  fraud  prevention  measures,  and any other measures necessary to ensure
    21  the integrity of WIC and fulfill federal mandates for cost containment.
    22    § 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day  after  it  shall
    23  have become a law. Provided, that, effective immediately, the department
    24  of  health shall begin to promulgate any rules and regulations necessary
    25  to implement the provisions of this act.
 
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD14717-02-6
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