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New York's largest health system has continued to sue patients over unpaid medical bills amid the pandemic, even though most other hospitals in the state have suspended their claims, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: Northwell Health, a nonprofit hospital system that is run by one of Cuomo's closest allies, sued more than 2,500 patients last year for an average of $1,700 in unpaid bills.

  • After the NYT article was published yesterday morning, Northwell said it would stop suing patients during the pandemic and would rescind all legal claims it filed in 2020.
  • Richard Miller, the system's chief business strategy officer, told NYT in an interview last month that the lawsuits filed in 2020 were all regarding care provided pre-pandemic.

Between the lines: New York ordered state-run hospitals to stop suing patients when the pandemic began, and almost all major private hospitals in the state followed suit.

The big picture: Northwell is not the only hospital system that has continued suing coronavirus patients amid the pandemic.

  • As I reported last summer, almost all of the roughly two dozen Community Health Systems hospitals in Florida, Texas and Arizona — some of the summer's hardest-hit states — had sued patients since the pandemic began.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Unemployment data shows worrisome trends

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than a million people filed for traditional unemployment benefits last week for the first time since July, further highlighting the impact the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic is having on the U.S. economy.

By the numbers: Including those who filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, more than 1.4 million Americans filed claims last week, an increase of more than 231,000 filing traditional claims and more than 123,000 filing for PUA support from the previous week, according to the unadjusted data.

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
44 mins ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.