New enrollment numbers from the state-run health insurance exchange confirm a trend relevant to budget talks in Albany: The role of local governments in signing people up for Medicaid is smaller than ever.
Sen. Chuck Schumer raised the alarm Tuesday about a pending reduction in Medicaid funding for safety-net hospitals, which he said would have "devastating" effect in New York. His warning was misleading in several ways, not least because it left out an important bit of context: Schumer himself voted for the cuts he was deploring. In effect, he was taking credit for trying to clean up a mess he had helped to create.
The balance of unspent money in the Essential Plan Trust Fund ballooned to a new high of $1.2 billion as of March 31, records from the comptroller's office show. The surplus more than tripled since the same time last year – even as the Trump administration disrupted federal aid for the program, which provides health coverage to low-income New Yorkers, and the Cuomo administration diverted $635 million in Essential Plan funds to subsidize struggling hospitals.
The new state budget features a larger-than-usual increase in Medicaid spending and two new coverage mandates for private insurers – adding to the already steep costs of health care for New York's taxpayers and policyholders.
The Affordable Care Act “has been a multibillion dollar source of money for the New York health care industry,” Hammond said.
A recent analysis by the Empire Center shows most Central New York hospitals saw big increases in Medicaid revenues after the Affordable Care Act allowed the state to expand Medicaid eligibility.
Obamacare enrollment is rising in New York – an exception to the national trend – but not by as much as state officials are implying.
If the entire Affordable Care Act were struck down as unconstitutional – as a federal judge ruled on Friday – the consequences for New York's health-care system, and the state budget, would be significant. Assuming the decision is upheld on appeal (which many experts doubt), and assuming Congress does not intervene, the state would lose almost $8 billion in federal aid that subsidizes coverage for more than 4 million residents.
New York's hospitals have made seeming progress on reducing avoidable readmissions, but the state's performance on this key quality indicator remains among the worst in the country, new federal data show.