NY Delegation Responds to Gov. Cuomo’s Warnings About Hospital Cuts

March 24, 2017

The New York Congressional Delegation sent out the following statement today:

Governor Cuomo blasted the New York Delegation for working to add an amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that would lessen the property tax burden across upstate New York and Long Island. The changes, sponsored by Reps. Collins and Faso, would prevent the State of New York from forcing county governments to pay for a portion of the state’s share of Medicaid.

The Governor is threatening cuts to everything from hospitals to nursing homes, but neither the AHCA nor the Collins/Faso amendment would result in such funds being pulled by the federal government. The amendment shifts the county share of Medicaid costs to New York State. If Gov. Cuomo is resorting to fear tactics for political purposes, he is also admitting that other forms of state spending are more important than providing health care to vulnerable populations.

“We articulated a very sensible need to change bad state policy that is currently hurting our senior homeowners the most. Of course there will be resistance from those who refuse to change, but the truth is that we all need to work together to meet the needs of New Yorkers in a leaner, smarter way. It’s time for the state to get its act together and quit putting the burden on upstate families and businesses,” Congressman Reed stated.

“This commonsense amendment would simply make New York State finally take responsibility for their own budgeting instead of passing these costs down to the county level,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This is why local officials continue to support this approach that would help reduce property taxes for hard working North Country families. Governor Cuomo should stop misleading New Yorkers about this plan and work with us to give the people of our state needed relief from this Medicaid mandate.”

“Our Medicaid mandate relief amendment would save homeowners and businesses hundreds of dollars on their annual property tax bill. This is considered normal budgeting in virtually every other state. In New York, Governor Cuomo has responded with over-the-top threats and calls to raise taxes on the middle class by 26 percent. If 49 other governors can manage Medicaid without sticking homeowners with the bill, why can’t Mr. Cuomo?” said Congressman Faso.

“It’s disappointing and disturbing that Governor Cuomo has resorted to these disgusting and willfully untruthful tactics. This is all while the Governor always fails to state absolutely any acknowledgment whatsoever that Obamacare is flawed. The Collins-Faso amendment to the American Health Care Act is the single greatest act of fiscal relief ever provided to the County of Suffolk, and most importantly Suffolk taxpayers. It is even more ironic that, just over two decades ago, his own father as Governor also proposed shifting the county share of Medicaid costs to the state. New York State absolutely can and should identify and achieve the $2.3 billion amount of efficiency necessary and available in the state Medicaid system and make it clear that this can be achieved without harming any low income New Yorkers in need of coverage. If he needs any ideas, I’d be more than happy to assist,” Congressman Zeldin stated.

“New York has been starved of real leadership in Albany for too long and the Governor’s most recent scare tactics demonstrate that void in rather dramatic fashion. Rather than dedicate his efforts to reduce the uniquely unfair and unreasonable Medicaid liability that has been forced on local governments, Governor Cuomo is proposing to slash funding for local health care facilities that our seniors, veterans, and poor rely on. We recognize the need to protect our citizens and support our local hospitals. That is why the AHCA creates a $100 billion innovation fund to assist the hospitals in the transition and eliminates damaging DSH cuts to Medicaid, which were enacted as part of Obamacare.

“The Faso-Collins amendment does not propose cuts to any programs in our districts. Rather, it requires Albany to manage its Medicaid program the way every other state in the nation does, and to stop passing costs in the form of unfunded mandates onto already struggling county governments. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Governor proposed a $152.3 billion budget. If the Governor chooses to slash programs that upstate New Yorkers rely on rather than find a way to cut his bloated, out-of-control budget in order to absorb costs the state should have been paying all along, then that is a tragic failure of leadership in Albany and I will vigorously oppose it,” stated Congresswoman Tenney.

The NY Delegation says that this same policy was suggested by the late Governor Mario Cuomo in the 1990s.