Assembly Passes Bill to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

I’m pleased to announce that during this year’s legislative session, the Assembly passed legislation that I supported aimed at countering soaring prescription drug prices. The bill establishes a Prescription Drug Assistance Program to harness consumer purchasing power by negotiating rebates with suppliers; rebates are then applied toward reduced prescription drug costs for participants (A.3848-B).


There’s a serious problem when prescription drugs are prohibitively expensive for New Yorkers in need. By allowing the state to negotiate on the buyer’s behalf, we can make prescription drugs substantially more affordable for New Yorkers.

The program will provide lower drug costs through bulk purchasing and rebates for public employees and other participants who may join. The program is open to individuals without prescription coverage and those facing gaps in coverage, regardless of age, who meet certain income requirements.

The legislation also:

  • creates the Prescription Drug Discount Card;

  • outlines the distribution of the rebate funds to retailers or individual participants, as appropriate; and

  • promotes the program through state Department of Health education and outreach.

In a bad economy, health insurance plans and publicly funded medical-assistance programs are struggling to pick up the slack. This bill consolidates consumer purchasing power, improving access to medications and relieving the strain from overburdened health care programs.

This program offers assistance in an alarming crisis. Lower prescription drug prices mean more attainable care for New Yorkers as well as much-needed savings for both Medicaid and state health plans. I urge the Senate to act in the best interest of New York and pass this common-sense legislation.

Tax Refunds for Seniors Who Do Not
File a Return Are Available

photo Assemblyman Abbate meeting with senior citizen in his office to discuss important issues affecting the elderly.

If you lived in New York City for all or part of 2007 and you’re not claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s federal return, you qualify for the NYC school tax credit refund.

My office will be glad to assist you complete the special NYC-210 form. If you qualified to file Form NYC-210 for past years but failed to do so, you may still be able to receive a NYC school tax credit for those years.

Depending on the number of months you lived in New York City, the refund can be as much as $230.00 for a married couple or a surviving spouse ($290.00 in tax year 2007).

You can file for past years — the deadline for 2005 is April 15, 2009. You can file for the NYC school tax credit refund for 2006 and 2007 at any other time.

telephone STOP
Unwanted sales calls.


Register your residential landline and cellular telephone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry and you will protect yourself and your family from most high pressure sales calls.

Telemarketers have 31 days to stop calling you after you register. Your registration is permanent.

Register on-line at
or call
(tty 1-866-290-4236)
from the phone you
wish to register.

Courtesy of the NYS Consumer Protection Board

Preparing for the
Digital TV Transition

In February 2009, all full-power broadcast television stations in the U.S. will stop analog transmissions and begin broadcasting only in digital. Older televisions, especially those produced before March 2007, may not be able to decode the digital signals. The government is offering vouchers good for $40 toward the purchase of a converter box to retrofit older sets and prepare them for the switchover. Viewers who already receive cable or satellite signals won’t need to readjust their sets for the digital transition.

Request your discount coupons today by calling 1-888-388-2009 or by Internet at Due to the high demand, it could take up to 12 weeks for delivery. The coupons have a $40 value towards the purchase of a digital converter box. Each household will be eligible to receive 2 coupons valid for 90 days. The coupons will only be valid for the purchase of converter boxes.