Count New York’s government-employee unions among the biggest winners of this year’s budget battle — with taxpayers as the big losers.
In the dead of night, the Legislature adopted language that aims to protect public unions’ political power from a likely US Supreme Court ruling.
The Empire Center, a government watchdog group in Albany, calls it the “biggest, murkiest, pork-barrel slush fund Albany (and perhaps any state capital) has ever seen.”
The allocation is slipped into the state budget without any explanation from legislative leaders and the governor.
State residents who pay close attention to how Albany operates should be familiar by now with the names of the elected officials who decide how their money gets spent. But if they really want to understand, they should get to know SAM.
Now that the state budget is put to bed for another year, here is a non-comprehensive rundown of health care-related highlights and lowlights.
Governor Cuomo’s proposal to expropriate “excess” reserves from Medicaid managed care plans would apparently target just two insurers—Fidelis Care and MetroPlus—even though their reserve levels are not unusually high.
Fidelis Care, a Catholic Church-affiliated health plan, is the target of a second revenue-raising proposal from Governor Cuomo.
As Albany lawmakers consider imposing costly new taxes and mandates on health insurance, a report from the New York State Health Foundation offers a timely reminder: The state’s insurance premiums are already among the highest in the country, and rising fast.
The Empire Center’s unique online “Explore Your State Budget” app has been updated to reflect data in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins April 1.