Paterson administration officials say the state budget will include a discount pharmacy card for 400,000 older New Yorkers, a historic reform of the detoxification system and an increase in the cost of cigarettes.
The administration also contests a claim of victory by hospitals and other powerful health care interests. The hospital lobbyists say they were able to temporarily derail a multiyear effort to drive more government funding to outpatient care instead of institutions as a way to save money and improve care.
Reforming the detoxification system after years of failed attempts would curb the cycle of people going from one detox program to another.
The drug card will provide 30- to 60-percent discounts for income eligible New Yorkers 50 to 64 years old.
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