Health care was the dog that did not bark at Governor Cuomo's combined State of State and budget address on Tuesday. Instead of announcing a major plan to expand coverage, he called for appointing a commission to study "options for achieving universal access" and report back by December – a clear sign that he has no stomach for tackling the issue in this session.
The New York City Council's vote of support on Tuesday for a statewide single-payer health plan showed curious timing from a fiscal point of view. Two weeks before, sponsors of the New York Health Act told union officials that they were changing the bill in ways that could cost the city billions of dollars per year. Details of these high-stakes changes won't be available until next month, yet Council members chose to back the measure anyway – effectively endorsing a blank check.
The already extraordinary cost of a proposed state-run single-payer health plan jumped even higher this week when the chief sponsor, Assembly Health Chairman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, announced that it would be expanded to cover long-term care.
A report issued this summer by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan think tank based in Albany, indicates Chemung County is one of two counties that shoulder the heaviest Medicaid burden in upstate New York.
A recent report by the Empire Center, an Albany-based, fiscally conservative think tank, projects if the state paid for the counties’ share of Medicaid costs, it would provide $8 billion in relief to county governments. That’s an average 27 percent reduction in county taxes, the USA Today Network’s Albany bureau reports.
The feasibility of a full state takeover of the remaining local share of Medicaid costs in New York is explored in a new report released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy.
This issue brief explores the financial considerations and policy challenges associated with eliminating the local Medicaid share and reviews the options for implementing a state takeover.
New York pushes more of its Medicaid expenses onto local government than any other state — an almost $8 billion cost-shift that contributes to high property taxes from Montauk to Niagara Falls.