Governor says Collins’ Medicaid funding shift would hurt New Yorkers
Cuomo: Federal aid cuts would decimate upstate health care system
Press Release, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo released this statement this evening about the healthcare proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, and also responded to Congressman Chris Collins’ push to have counties in New York no longer contribute to Medicaid, with the county share picked up by the state.
“The more we learn about the repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act, the sicker New York gets,” Cuomo said. “The repeal and replacement is exactly what the Trump Administration promised that they would not do. It is the classic Republican program referred to during Reagan’s time as ‘passing the buck without passing the bucks.’ Congressman Paul Ryan and the radical conservatives are having their way.
“Congressman Ryan brags about ‘cutting entitlements by billions of dollars.’ That is precisely what he is trying to do to New York’s Medicaid program. The conservatives have long lamented that New York’s Medicaid program was ‘too generous.’ They scoffed at our health care proposal that provided dental care and one conservative even said when questioned about the denial of dental benefits, ‘soup is good.’
“The Repeal and Replace Act would block grant money to the state in the name of local flexibility but at the same time it would dramatically cut that funding. Over four years New York State would lose $4.6 billion and lose at least $2.4 billion a year by fiscal year 2020.
“If this were not bad enough Congressman Chris Collins and Congressman John Faso have offered an amendment that would stop the counties from paying a share of Medicaid. Historically, the federal government paid 50 percent, the state paid 25 percent, and local governments – counties – paid 25 percent. The state has already absorbed much of that burden, but even so the reduction to the program from the loss of the counties’ share outside of New York City is $2.3 billion.
“The cut is so severe that the majority of hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities located in Upstate New York and on Long Island would be devastated. How a county executive could believe their county could prosper while losing hundreds if not thousands of jobs and seeing the decimation of their health care system is beyond me.
“Congressmen Collins and Faso are calling their amendment a ‘tax savings plan for the county.’ Really it’s a deathtrap as there is no way to make up the shortfall. The Upstate New York and Long Island economy will falter or collapse if the health sector is damaged.
“It would be nice if Congressmen Collins and Faso actually tried to help their districts rather than hurt them. These health care cuts are on top of a dizzying array of cuts to real New Yorkers. The Republican budget cuts housing assistance, food stamps, heating projects, community development funds – all at the expense of the middle class and working families – while they cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans. They won’t get away with it. They can’t play New Yorkers as fools and New Yorkers will remember.
“The bill for Congressmen Collins and Faso’s rabid conservative zealotry will be paid by Upstate New York’s hard working families, and those families will know exactly who to thank.”