By Dan Goldberg | 12/05/2017 09:57 AM EDT

AARP WANTS TAX CREDIT — AARP New York is pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include a tax credit for caregivers in his executive budget, scheduled to be released next month. The tax credit would be available to those who care for a relative who needs assistance with at least one activity of daily living. State residents with less than $75,000 of adjusted gross income ($150,000 for couples) would be eligible. The credit would cover 50 percent of qualified expenses that help keep people in their homes, and be capped at $3,000, less than half of what the average family member spends out-of-pocket, according to the AARP. Read more here.

CORRECTION — In Monday's calendar section, I had the wrong date for the EBBRAC meeting. It will take place Friday, Dec. 8, not Dec. 15. Sorry for the mix-up.

MAKING A FEDERAL CASE OF IT — Uncertainty caused by the federal government loomed over a joint Assembly committee hearing Monday on water infrastructure projects in New York. Multiple Assembly members and environmental experts scolded Washington for "abdicating its responsibility" and not doing more to assist the state and localities in funding needed improvements to water systems. But in addition to federal administrators slow-walking what assistance they do provide, lawmakers expressed concern with the possibility that Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration will cut funding for environmental projects — or force New York to substantially rework its own budget. Read more here.

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NOW WE KNOW — Tylenol can help with your hurt feelings, according to a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. Read more from NPR here.

ORGAN CHANGE — The Washington Post reports: "After years of debate, the organization that oversees the allocation of livers for transplant took steps Monday to address a long-standing geographic disparity in supply of the scarce organs. The policy approved by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network will make more livers available in some places — including cities such as New York and Chicago — where the shortage is more severe than it is in regions such as the southeastern United States."

... Read my 2015 story on why New York doctors were hoping for a change.

CHIP CLOCK — It's been 66 days since Congress let the Children's Health Insurance Program lapse. New York has enough cash to keep its program running through December.

... The House of Representatives will consider a continuing resolution that includes a short-term technical adjustment to address some states' dwindling funds for the state Children's Health Insurance Program.

INFOGRAPHIC: The CHIP Funding Gap — Congress' failure to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could put 350,000 New York children at risk of losing health insurance. Check out POLITICO's graphic here.

LOOPHOLE — Newsday reports: "Narcotics dealers selling chemically altered mixtures that contain the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl can face weaker punishments because of a loophole in state law that exempts certain drug mixes from being illegal controlled substances."

WHAT CHIRLANE MCCRAY IS READING — The Observer reports: "A year after New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray launched a national coalition of city leaders pushing for mental health reform, she is rolling out the now 200 person coalition's funding priorities for 2018. She's also heading to Washington, D.C. early next year to lobby congressional lawmakers."

MAKING ROUNDS — Dr. Laurence Epstein has been named system director of electrophysiology at Northwell Health and professor of medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. Read more here.

ALSO MAKING ROUNDS — Kerry Eaton has joined Health Quest Systems as chief operating officer. She previously worked in Pensacola, Florida, for Sacred Heart Health System, a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic, nonprofit health system.

PHARMA REPORT:

SMART TAKE ON CVS — Bloomberg News reports: "As the specter of Amazon.com Inc. looms over the health-care industry, it's easy to see the tech giant's threat as a major factor behind the megadeal between CVS Health Corp. and Aetna Inc. Yet the $67.5 billion deal will build a company to match up against a rival that already has businesses spread deep across the sector: UnitedHealth Group Inc."

FDA OFFERS DIRECTION ON 3D-PRINTED DEVICES — The Food and Drug Administration Monday issued new guidance clarifying what manufacturers should include on applications for medical devices made on 3D printers.

WHAT WE'RE READING:

PULSE CHECK — This conservative analyst thinks the ACA market will take a hit. Chris Jacobs, head of the Juniper Research Group, tells POLITICO's podcast that repealing the ACA's individual mandate while leaving the law's other regulations intact is a recipe for disaster. "That's going to raise premiums, it's a question of how much," Jacobs said. More.

TARGETING WOMEN — STAT reports: "Investors searching for a new way to make big money in medicine have hit upon an age-old problem: infertility. The money isn't just in treating older women who have spent years trying to conceive. It's in persuading younger women, still in their 20s, to start worrying about their future fertility now — and to pay for pricey tests and services, such as egg freezing, as a hedge against problems down the road."

MCCAIN, MORAN PUSH VA HEALTH REFORM PLAN — Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Jerry Moran of Kansas introduced legislation Monday aimed at overhauling the Veterans Administration health care system. The bill would require the VA to use objective data on care demand to set standards for access and quality and to bridge gaps in veterans' care, they wrote. Read a summary here and the full legislative text here.

WHY HEALTH CARE COSTS SO MUCH — Vox reports: "There are 141 million visits to the emergency room each year, and nearly all of them ... have a charge for something called a facility fee. This is the price of walking through the door and seeking service. It does not include any care provided. Emergency rooms argue that these fees are necessary to keep their doors open, so they can be ready 24/7 to treat anything from a sore back to a gunshot wound. But there is also wide variation in how much hospitals charge for these fees, raising questions about how they are set and how closely they are tethered to overhead costs."

TRAPPED — New research suggests that many would-be scientists and inventors are trapped by poverty and inequality, David Leonhardt writes in the New York Times. More.

TODAY'S TIP — Comes from Northwell Health's Terry Lynam, a senior vice president and chief of public relations, who offers strategies to communicate clearly in the midst of chaos.

STUDY THIS:

PEANUT ALLERGY — Mount Sinai researchers, writing in Nature Communications, identified six genes that activate hundreds of others in children with severe peanut allergies. "This study highlights genes and molecular processes that could be targets for new therapies to treat peanut-allergy reactions and could be important to understanding how peanut allergy works overall," senior author Dr. Supinda Bunyavanich, associate professor of pediatrics and genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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