Medicaid Cost Shifts

ALBANY – Lawmakers left the Capitol on Tuesday evening without resolving concerns of Assembly Democrats opposed to Medicaid cost shifts. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “As we’ve said for two months, we are unwilling to see a burden of cuts or cost shifts to the City of New York.” He went on to say, “That hasn’t changed and that hasn’t been resolved to the conference’s satisfaction”. His comments came after a second negotiating session in Cuomo’s office. Cuomo told reporters on Tuesday that he is now seeking to find $250 million in efficiencies from all counties from what he believes is rising fraud in the Medicaid Program. Cuomo said, “There was always waste and abuse in the program” and he continued, “Now that the counties are no longer paying an additional share for moneys they spend, my instinct is its only gotten worse.” Leaders of the state’s counties, which administer Medicaid, reacted quickly. Rockland County Executive, Ed Day, said, “What has kept Rockland and other counties from ‘running effective programs’ is not a failure for our local DSS and other agencies to commit to running highly efficient programs, rather, it is a repeated tendency of the State to delay, blunt, or otherwise prevent us here locally from taking action when we see obvious signs of fraud, abuse, or misapplication of taxpayer funds that is the problem.” Asked during the evening if he still believed budget bills would be printed Tuesday, Heastie replied, “if there’s resolution.” Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said there was “progress” and predicted that the state operations bill, unburdened by controversy, might make it to the printing press.

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