Cuomo Rejects Picking Up Counties’ Share Of Medicaid

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Counties and some state lawmakers want the state to pick up the local governments’ share of Medicaid costs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today don’t expect it to happen, saying the state has its own budget problems.

“Do we have money to subsidize them? No,” Cuomo said at a news conference today.

Cuomo said the state is facing a $2 billion budget gap for the 2012-13 fiscal year, and the budget gap could grow because of the troubles on Wall Street, which generally accounts for about 20 percent of the state’s revenue.

He said the state is “not in a position to be picking any additional costs since we need $2 billion just to get back to zero.”

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers along with county executives have been pushing legislation that would lead to a phase out of the local cost for Medicaid, which is a huge hit on county budgets. New York’s Medicaid program costs $53 billion, and the cost is split between federal, state and local governments.

On average, Medicaid accounts for 45 percent of a county’s local property tax levy. The bill would freeze Medicaid costs and immediately save counties about $180 million a year. The local share would be phased out entirely by 2019.

Cuomo noted how the state several years ago capped counties’ Medicaid costs at a growth of 3 percent each year, which has been a major savings for them. He said the state simply can’t pick up more of the tab.

“I could sit here and say the federal government should pick up my cost. The federal government would say that it’s a nice idea, but we don’t have the money either,” Cuomo continued. “It’s a function of the overall economy, and everybody has to recalibrate and everybody has to make it work.”

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5 Comments

  1. Good Government Westchester on

    Someone educate the Governor on this issue. His quote reflects a blatant misunderstanding: ““Do we have money to subsidize them? No.”

    Mr. Cuomo, you have the issue utterly backwards. It is the counties that are subsidizing the state. The formula for Medicaid is quite clear – the federal government picks up half and the state governments pick up the other half. NEW YORK IS THE ONLY STATE IN THE COUNTRY THAT FORCES THE COUNTIES TO PAY HALF OF THE STATE SHARE! This is the most severe unfunded state mandate on the books. The counties are only asking that this unfunded state mandate be eliminated and for the state to do whatever every other state does, and that is to pay half of the Medicaid costs. It is kind of remarkable that I need to explain this to the governor.

  2. smartporpoise on

    You said a mouthful, Good Government. Can you imagine the super shabby bottom line of the State’s books if they, as they should, properly reflected this burden? That’s how bad things are up there thanks to the irresponsible, self-serving riff-raff whom we have been electing for decades.

  3. Ball for Congress on

    Seize Leibell’s house. It was built with ill-gotten gains.

    Shut down the not for profit, seize the assets (whatever hasn’t been stolen), and seize the 43 acres that’s supposed to go for senior housing that we have never needed. Sell those acres, and that’ll make up for some of the $13 million that Leibell misappropriated, using all that State taxpayer discretionary funding to fund his own empire through phoney scams like low income housing. Greg Ball tried to fight him for years, and just about everyone in office laughed at him. Who’s laughing now? A number of people should resign. Shame on them for letting all of this corruption happen right under their noses. No worries. Many of them will be part of the 10-12 people about to be arrested by the feds.

    Senior housing was never the mandate of the Leibell not for profits, the Putnam Community Foundation and the Hudson Valley Trust. The purpose of these two scams was to build a vehicle where Leibell could reap millions of dollars. And he did, while those in power in Putnam stood there and did nothing.

  4. I agreed with you the first time, now you’re just annoying and I’m rethinking my agreement.

  5. Dumb Not Astute on

    The Guv doesn’t care about lowering property taxes. He just wants you to think he does.