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.
The largest revenue-raiser in the just-completed state budget, worth $2 billion over four years, is not a tax or a fee or even a legal settlement. It takes the form of semi-voluntary “grants,” mostly to be squeezed out of a Catholic Church-affiliated health plan.
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.
Due to recent changes in the federal tax code, the already exorbitant cost of single-payer for New York taxpayers has gotten even steeper.
Here’s another health care cut that Albany can stop worrying about: Despite losing $1 billion in federal funding, the state’s Essential Plan is actually expected to run a hefty surplus—which the Cuomo administration is using to plug budget holes.
Existing state regulations, along with competitive pressures, assure that health insurers will share much if not all of the benefit of federal tax cuts with their policyholders. Rather than trying to grab the money or dictate how it's spent, lawmakers should let market forces do their work.