An initiative that would shift Medicaid costs from New York counties to state government is being touted by U.S. Rep. John Faso, whose sprawling 19th Congressional district covers most of Dutchess County.
Faso, R-Kinderhook, and fellow Congressman Chris Collins, NY-27, authors of the so-called Medicaid Local Share Limitation, say the measure could save county governments billions of dollars and ultimately benefit taxpayers.
It was included as a “manager’s amendment” to the American Health Care Act, aka Trumpcare and Ryancare, on Wednesday, March 8. The former is named for President Donald J. Trump; the latter, for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Faso said Tuesday that the measure only applies to the $2.3 billion being raised from counties outside of New York City.
New York state currently raises $7 billion from its local governments to fund its $27 billion Medicaid liability, Faso said.
According to Faso, and other members of the state GOP delegation, “the outsized portion of the Medicaid burden counties are being forced to pay is creating a significant financial hardship.”
The $2.3 billion New York counties pay “to fund this mandate out of Albany” accounts for on average 44.3 percent of the county property tax levy, Faso said.
According to Collins, New York spends $60 billion a year on Medicaid, ranking it as the second highest in the nation. And it spends 44 percent more per Medicaid beneficiary than the national average, the congressman added.
While New York state has only 6 percent of the national population, it accounts for 11 percent of total Medicaid spending, Collins said.
Calling the measure “a huge win” for taxpayers, Collins and Faso said that an “independent estimate” found that the reform could save the average taxpayer in the 19th Congressional District about $358.72.
“It's time for Albany to reform Medicaid spending, and by fulfilling my pledge to end Albany's Medicaid mandate, we are accomplishing just that,” Faso said.
The Medicaid program serves low-income and needy children, the aged, blind, and/or otherwise disabled.
People who are eligible for federally assisted income maintenance payments also can get Medicaid.
The AHCA is based on a plan that was released by House Republicans two days before Faso and Collins introduced their initiative. It is intended to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, enacted under the previous administration in 2010.
According to media reports, Republicans trying to build a consensus among conservatives and moderates, introduced changes to the AHCA Monday.
Under the new version, states could force able-bodies Medicaid recipients, who don’t have dependents, to work, starting this fall.
Those states that participate would be rewarded financially, or could get a lump sum – instead of a per person allotment – from the federal government for children and adults who are not disabled or elderly, media reports said.
Republicans were working on the GOP conference to make sure there are the 216 votes needed to pass the bill in the House, cnn.com reported.
Trump, who made health care reform one of his campaign issues, was holding meetings with key players on Capitol Hill Tuesday, cnn.com reported.
Trump, who owns the $19.5 million Seven Springs estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.