Media Coverage

EDITORIAL: Pining for the Cuomo of old | Crains New York

Let's start with Medicaid. In March, with Medicaid spending running far over budget, the governor quietly delayed into April a $2 billion payment due to providers. April is the start of the new fiscal year, so the move technically kept Medicaid spending under the cap that he'd instituted. The maneuver was discovered only a few months later, when sharp-eyed journalist Bill Hammond found a line about the payment delay in a budget document. [Read_more]

Connecticut And New York Battle Rising Healthcare Costs | WSHU

At the same time, a government watchdog group says New York needs to get its Medicaid spending under control. The Empire Center is concerned the state will consider delaying $1 billion in payments to avoid piercing its annual cap for the second time in a year.  [Read_more]

Nursing levels at NY hospitals face new scrutiny | Niagara Gazette

William Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany think tank, said if staffing ratios are imposed on hospitals, it would likely lead to "vast amounts of overtime" paid to nurses as their employers struggle to comply with the mandate at a time when nurses are already in short supply in the labor market. [Read_more]

EDITORIAL: State-run single-payer plan will not lower New York costs | The Buffalo News

The cost of New York’s Medicaid program has been growing exponentially. According to a recent report from the Empire Center, Medicaid costs in New York went from $62.6 billion in 2016, to an expected $74.5 billion in 2020, an increase of more than 20%. This same report found that New York’s Medicaid per-capita spending was 79% higher than the national average. [Read_more]

Albany Watch: Politics decide when bills get to Cuomo desk | Associated Press

“It can be a kind of gamesmanship where one side or another sees an advantage in delay or hurrying things up,” said Bill Hammond, director of health policy for the Empire Center.

Cuomo often signals to legislative leaders which bills he’d sign and when he’d like to have bills called up to his desk.

“There are also under-the breath-signals: ‘If you send me that, I’m not going to sign it,’” said E.J. MacMahon, research director of the Empire Center. [Read_more]

EDITORIAL: MTA overtime is very old news | The Riverdale Press

It has been repeatedly documented by internal MTA, the MTA inspector general, state comptroller, Citizens Budget Commission, Empire Center for Public Policy audits and reports, along with numerous newspaper stories. [Read_more]

Worries grow over Medicaid overruns | WBFO

A policy seminar titled Medicaid Migraine, held Wednesday by the fiscal watchdog group the Empire Center as part of the Gov. Hugh L. Carey Policy Forum, addressed the rapidly increasing health care costs in New York that led to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget office delaying a $1.7 billion payment to providers last year. [Read_more]

MTA inspector general says four Long Island Rail Road workers padded overtime | Newsday

The revelations come as several agencies, including federal and Queens prosecutors, continue to investigate potential overtime abuse among LIRR workers. The concerns of fraud stem from an April report by the Empire Center for Public Policy that revealed alarmingly high overtime rates among some workers. The MTA paid $418 million in overtime in 2018, up 16% from the previous year. [Read_more]

Cuomo eyes delaying Medicaid payment to avoid busting cap | Newsday

“Postponing more payment would only make a bad situation worse,” said Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the fiscally conservative Empire Center think tank. “On a per capita basis, New York’s Medicaid program is already the costliest in the country. Last year, the state-funded portion of the program ran 8 percent over budget, and officials don’t seem to have a good handle on how they can slow things down.” [Read_more]

EDITORIAL: What Cuomo doesn’t want to tell you about state’s Medicaid mess | New York Post

In separate new reports, the Empire Center and the Citizens Budget Commission both warn that New York is “losing control” over the costs of the program to provide health care for the poor. Absent corrective action, the problems will mushroom, pushing the state deficit for the next four years to an alarming $22 billion (and even higher if the economy goes south). [Read_more]