Some of the nation's top health policy experts gathered to share ideas on how to curb health care expenses, improve health care services and expand access to health insurance in New York State. Featured topics included innovative Medicaid reforms in Florida and Kentucky, the Massachusetts health insurance reform plan, the pitfalls of a Canada-style universal health plan, and the potential benefits of expanding consumer health care choices.
With the election of New York's governor just seven weeks away, Democrat Eliot Spitzer and Republican John Faso have released plans to reform Medicaid and rein in its soaring costs.
But given their timid suggestions, New Yorkers should hardly expect any significant drop in Medicaid's skyrocketing budget or savings from lower property taxes.
New York’s state and local governments provide their retired employees with continuing health insurance coverage on the same basis as active workers, at benefit levels far more generous than those available to taxpayers employed in the private sector.
As the state's 2006 legislative session winds down, it appears Senate lawmakers won't vote on a proposed bill that would require large companies to provide comprehensive health care benefits to their workers.
When premium increases are capped, insurance companies tend to seek rate increases closer to the limit. Tighter regulation of premiums could undermine the profitability of a company whose financial health the state is banking on to finance health care programs. The focus should be on health insurance regulations that drive up rates.
New York State has long stood alone in forcing local taxpayers to pay up to half of all Medicaid costs not reimbursed by the federal government. This divided financial responsibility is a key reason why New York easily leads the nation in Medicaid spending.