Bill Hammond

Senior Fellow for Health Policy

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

Bill has authored reports critiquing a proposed state-run single-payer health care system, documenting Albany’s excessive reliance on health insurance taxesanalyzing the pros and cons of “block-granting” Medicaid, and examining the regulatory missteps surrounding the collapse of Health Republic Insurance.

He also published numerous op-eds and contributes regularly to NY Torch, the Empire Center’s policy blog.

Before joining the Empire Center in 2016, Bill spent almost three decades in newspaper journalism, most recently as a columnist and editorial board member at the New York Daily News from 2005 to 2015.

Before joining the Daily News, Hammond previously wrote for The New York SunThe Daily Gazette of Schenectady and The Post-Star of Glens Falls. His work has also appeared in Politico New York, the New York Post, City & State, the Albany Times Union, The Buffalo News and The 74.

A graduate of Albany High School and Harvard University, Hammond lives in Saratoga Springs.

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Latest Work

The remarkable thing about state's multi-billion-dollar Medicaid crisis is that it is almost entirely the result of the Cuomo administration's own actions. There is no economic downturn or change in federal policy that explains the program's current $4 billion deficit, or its $3 billion projected gap in the next fiscal year, as confirmed in Friday's mid-year update to the state financial plan. Read More

Elizabeth Warren is an unabashed believer in wealth redistribution, so it was predictable that her Medicare for All plan would hit high-income individuals and large corporations with trillions in tax hikes. More surprising are the two other targets she chooses to soak: states that spend most heavily on Medicaid, and employers that offer the costliest health benefits. Read More

The 1199 SEIU contract that the Cuomo administration subsidized with Medicaid money last year included a potentially nine-figure payment to the union's lobbying arm, which has spent millions on TV ads praising Governor Cuomo's health policies. Read More

In a sign of a deepening state budget crisis, the Cuomo administration says it is planning to delay another $2 billion in Medicaid payments this coming spring, according to a recent report from the Budget Division. Read More

At the midway point of the fiscal year, New York's Medicaid health plan has already spent 61 percent of its state-funded budget, according to the latest cash report from the comptroller's office – putting the program on track to end the year with a $2.9 billion shortfall. Read More

The budget crisis in New York’s Medicaid program stems from the failure of a key cost-control measure adopted during Governor Cuomo’s first term. In 2011, Cuomo and the Legislature imposed a “global cap” on state Medicaid spending that was tied to the medical inflation rate. The measure showed signs of working at first, but lost its effectiveness as circumstances changed, loopholes multiplied and compliance faltered. Read More

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