The newly posted July cash report from the comptroller's office shows that state-funded Medicaid expenditures ran over budget projections by $665 million, or almost 8 percent, through the first four months of the fiscal year. If that pattern continues, the full-year overage would approach $2 billion.
New York's employer-sponsored health insurance premiums – which were already among the steepest in the mainland United States – rose faster than the national average in 2018, pushing the state's affordability gap to new heights.
Another hurdle is whether the new program can live up to the idea of universal health care, said Bill Hammond, a health-care analyst at the Empire Center, a conservative-leaning New York think tank. New Yorkers already had universal access, he said; the problem is how it is used. Health officials are rightly “trying to fix the delivery system,” said Mr. Hammond; meanwhile, the mayor, “made it sound like they’re fixing the coverage system.”
The Empire Center’s Bill Hammond says Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget office quietly postponed a $1.7 billion dollar Medicaid payment in late March by three business days and made the payment instead in early April. That’s significant because the state’s fiscal year ended March 31 and a new one began April 1. If the payment were made in March, the state would have been over a statutory cap that limits growth of Medicaid spending to 3% last year.
This year's state budget came with a hidden asterisk: In the final throes of his negotiations with legislative leaders, Governor Cuomo quietly postponed a month's worth of Medicaid payments from the last week of March to the first week of April – shifting $1.7 billion in spending from one fiscal year to the next.
In 2016, the Empire Center for Public Policy, a right-leaning think tank, found that New York had the lowest average score of any state, a paltry 2.26. Only the District of Columbia and certain U.S. territories were lower.
At Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand gave a misleading description of the "Medicare for All" proposal that she says she helped to write – implying that it calls for a voluntary buy-in rather than mandatory government coverage.
De Blasio’s claim was “very misleading,” said Bill Hammond, the health policy director at the Empire Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan, New York-focused think tank. Voters might think he is referring to universal insurance or even a single-payer system, he said, neither of which is true.