Cuomo aims to close $6.1 billion deficit; $178.6B budget plan seeks to overhaul Medicaid, rejects tax hike on wealthy The Buffalo News

But fiscal watchdogs didn't see it that way. E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy, one of the fiscal monitoring groups at the Capitol Tuesday, said the Cuomo administration's leisurely way of releasing budget documents - including key pieces of legislation needed to pass to make up the fiscal plan's specifics - was a show of "contempt for the public, the taxpayers and the Legislature. Every year this process gets murkier and less transparent."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 10th state budget to detail how to fill $6.1 billion deficit Newsday

E.J. McMahon of the fiscally conservative Empire Center said the budget must reflect that the state has a spending problem, not a shortage of revenue.

He said Cuomo can’t just “paper over” this year’s deficit by tapping reserves and employing gimmicks such as one-shot, nonrecurring revenues, but must institute long-term spending cuts and efficiencies in the budget so deficits don’t deepen in bad economic times.

New York’s Medicaid Budget Is Bleeding; Some Want Cash Infusion Bloomberg Law

Cuomo’s first MRT made “real progress” and could do so again, said Bill Hammond, director of health policy for the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank.

But much depends on the team, Hammond said.

“If it’s structured that same way, where the biggest recipients of Medicaid money are running the show, and the global cap has been weakened, and the governor’s political capital on this issue is diminished, the question is how effective will that be,” he said.

Cuomo threatens to make NY counties pay more for Medicaid if they don’t cut costs

Cuomo quietly increased Medicaid payments by 2 percent to hospitals and 1.5 percent to nursing homes just before Election Day in 2018 at a time when Medicaid spending was running hundreds of millions of dollars higher than expected, according to a report by the Empire Center, an Albany think tank. Cuomo than reversed course and cut most Medicaid payments by 1 percent early this year.
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