Earlier this year, another fiscal watchdog group, The Empire Center, found that Cuomo’s budget office had delayed a $1.7 billion Medicaid payment from the previous fiscal year into the current fiscal year. Because of the delay, the governor was able to keep within a self imposed 2% yearly spending cap.
“It’s everything that’s wrong with Albany in one ugly deal,” said Bill Hammond, a health policy expert at the nonpartisan Empire Center who first noticed the budgetary trick. “The governor was able to unilaterally direct a billion dollars to a major interest group while secretly accepting its campaign cash and papering over a massive deficit in the Medicaid program.”
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.
In a "Groundhog Day"-like replay of tactics from last year, health-care interests are again using an unlikely threat of spending cuts in Washington to demand special treatment in the upcoming state budget.
The question now is whether the governor and the Legislature will play along with the movie for a second time in a row – and whether it will have the same ugly ending.
These should be boom times for New York’s hospitals, whose collective revenues have been surging by the billions for several years.
New York’s hospitals are in the throes of two seemingly contradictory trends. Their collective revenues are showing strong growth, yet more and more of them are chronically operating in the red.
Revenue for New York’s hospitals increased by $14 billion from 2012 to 2016, according to an Empire Center research and data bulletin released today.
An analysis of hospital ratings statewide by the Albany-based Empire Center found that 48 of the 151 hospitals graded in New York received a one-star rating, up from 33 in 2017. The state's hospitals received an average of 2.18 stars out of five, down from 2.32 as of 2017.