Bernadette Hogan & Carl Campanile

Gov. Cuomo faces a growing budget mess as officials projected a shocking $6.1 billion hole in the state’s finances next year.

The figure was provided by the state Division of Budget in its mid-year budget report, which was released weeks after its legally mandated due date.

That tallies up to roughly 6 percent of the state’s $102 billion budget for its agencies and operations.

More than half of the gap — $4 billion — is linked to a dramatic rise in the state’s Medicaid costs.

In an effort to patch the hole, Cuomo is considering slashing payments to hospitals and nursing homes in the current budget and perhaps next year.

“Savings may include across the board reductions in rates paid to providers and health plans, reductions in discretionary payments, and other actions that can be executed administratively in the current fiscal year,” the report reads.

It’s Cuomo’s biggest budget shortfall since he came into office in 2011, experts said.

“This is the toughest budget that Cuomo has faced partly because he had bigger gaps when he took office, but he also had more political capital,” said Bill Hammond of the fiscally conservative Empire Center.

“He kind of owns this crisis because it’s not driven by the economy, it’s driven by the shortcomings of his own management of the Medicaid program in particular.”

One health care expert said the growing Medicaid costs are the result of New York’s costly and unwieldy health care system.

“They failed to present a real plan,” criticized Dave Friedfel of the Citizens Budget Commission, a fiscal watchdog group.

“They’ve known about this for a long time, but the plan they did present is really one part gimmick,” he added.

His analysis shows the state was already in trouble after pushing off a $1.7 billion Medicaid bill in March 2019 into 2020, which grew into the $4 billion.

A spokesman for the Division of Budget refused to give details ahead of Gov. Cuomo’s January budget address on how the state plans to cut Medicaid expenditures incurred and rolled over from last year.

© 2019 New York Post

You may also like

State’s Growing Budget Hole Threatens NYC Jobs and Aid as Congress Takes a Holiday

“The biggest problem for the state is the enormous, recurring structural budget gap starting next year and into the future,” said E.J. McMahon of the conservative-leaning Empire Center. “Cuomo clearly hopes that starting in 2021, (Democratic presidential candidate Joseph) Biden and a Democratic Congress will provide states and local government a couple of year’s worth of added stimulus. Read More

How Andrew Cuomo became ‘maybe the most powerful governor’ in U.S.

Ed McKinley ALBANY — When the New York Constitution was reorganized nearly 100 years ago to give the governor more power over the budget process,  noted there was a risk of making “the governor a czar." M Read More

Study disputes Cuomo on Trump tax package; experts say it’s complicated

Michael Gormley ALBANY — A new study by a conservative think tank says President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law gave most New Yorkers a tax cut, even as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo insists on repealing the measure because he says it will cost New Yo Read More

Empire Center sues Department of Health over nursing home records

Johan Sheridan ALBANY, N.Y. () — The Empire Center filed a  against the state Department of Health on Friday. “This case isn’t about assigning blame or embarrassing political leaders,” said Bill Hammond, the Empire Center’s Read More

Good news: That New York pork isn’t going out the door after all

The Empire Center first reported Tuesday that grants — 226 of them, totaling $46 million, to recipients selected by the governor and individual state lawmakers — seemed to still be going ahead. Read More

New York Lawmakers Seek Independent Probe of Nursing-Home Coronavirus Deaths

With lingering questions about how the novel coronavirus killed thousands of New Yorkers who lived in nursing homes, a group of state lawmakers is pushing to create an independent commission to get answers from the state Department of Health. Read More

Policy analyst: Cuomo wrong to write-off nursing home criticism as political conspiracy

“The importance of discussing this and getting the true facts out is to understand what did and didn’t happen so we can learn from it in case this happens again,” Hammond said. Read More

EDITORIAL: Nursing home report requires a second opinion

No doubt, the Health Department and the governor would like this report to be the final word on the subject. But if it’s all the same with them, we’d still like a truly independent review. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!