Commentary

In what he calls a “bold agenda” for New York’s future, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has dusted off one of Albany’s creakiest bipartisan infrastructure fantasies: high-speed passenger rail service. Read More

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the Empire State’s big Medicaid deficit, as laid out in his budget presentation on Tuesday, was a disappointing mix of delay, deflection and delegation. Read More

From a statewide perspective, New York’s economic performance since the end of the Great Recession hasn’t been especially outstanding, roughly equaling the U.S. averages for growth in private employment and GDP, while slightly trailing the national rate of increase in personal income since early 2009. But a closer look at the numbers reveals a tale of two New Yorks. Read More

In 2020, the biggest headache facing Albany will be Medicaid, the state-run health plan that covers more than 6 million lower-income and disabled New Yorkers. As revealed last month, Medicaid is running 16 percent over budget—opening a $4 billion deficit in the state’s current financial plan and contributing disproportionately to a $6.1 billion gap for the fiscal year that begins April 1. Read More

Instead of properly managing Medicaid, the state’s biggest and most important program, Cuomo subverted his own reforms, whitewashed official reports, withheld information from the Legislature and the public, flouted his constitutional duties and, worst of all, secretly delayed $1.7 billion in payments from one fiscal year to the next. Read More

The Cuomo administration recently revealed that New York’s Medicaid program is running over budget by an astonishing 16 percent, or $4 billion, even though enrollment is flat and medical inflation is at historic lows. This seemingly out-of-nowhere spending spike has triggered the Empire State’s worst fiscal crisis since the Great Recession. It raises an awkward question for fans of single-payer health care in Albany: If state government can’t properly manage the fraction of the health-care system it already controls, why should it be trusted to take over the whole thing? Read More

Elizabeth Warren is an unabashed believer in wealth redistribution, so it was predictable that her Medicare for All plan would hit high-income individuals and large corporations with trillions in tax hikes. More surprising are the two other targets she chooses to soak: states that spend most heavily on Medicaid, and employers that offer the costliest health benefits. Read More

The Cuomo administration has admitted there is a “structural imbalance” in its massive Medicaid budget, which means the Empire State’s biggest single government program is spending beyond its means. So, what does Gov. Andrew Cuomo plan to do about it? Some hint of the answer might be forthcoming in a midyear financial update — whenever, that is, Cuomo gets around to issuing one as required by law. That report is now two weeks overdue. Read More

Is the city’s biggest bank getting ready to flee? That worrisome question flared up this week following a Bloomberg News report that JPMorgan Chase & Co. — the largest private employer still based in the city — may move thousands of jobs from New York to its other outposts, including in Texas, Ohio and Delaware. In fact, although the bank itself didn’t officially comment, it seems clear the reality is not so dire. JPMorgan isn’t abandoning its ancestral home — not yet, anyway. Read More

Last April, lawyers for private kindergarten through grade 12 schools found themselves defending, before a state trial-court judge, private and religious schools’ right to operate. The lawyers, representing Jewish, Catholic and nonsectarian independent schools, were challenging sweeping new State Education Department edicts that would effectively force private schools to perform as de facto public schools. Read More

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.