Standing Committee on Medicaid and Human Services
RESOLUTION CALLING ON THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO IMPLEMENT A FULL TAKEOVER OF ALL LOCAL COSTS OF THE MEDICAID PROGRAM IN ORDER TO REDUCE NEW YORK’S HIGHEST IN THE NATION LOCAL TAX BURDEN
WHEREAS, Medicaid is a federal, state, and local health care program whose costs and administration represents the largest component of the state and local fiscal relationship in New York, currently totaling nearly $53 billion annually; and
WHEREAS, since the program’s inception, counties across the state have struggled to fund the growth of the Medicaid local share and even with local budget austerity measures the programs cost has resulted in higher property taxes, higher sales taxes, and a decline in county services; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of the local Medicaid Cap in 2005 represented a significant reform in the way New York finances its Medicaid program and provides counties with a new level of stability and predictably that will benefit local taxpayers for years to come; and
WHEREAS, the State Legislature has enacted legislation to assume local governments’ costs and related functions of administering the State Medicaid program; and
WHEREAS, Congress has enacted comprehensive health care reform that greatly expands Medicaid coverage that is heavily subsidized with federal tax dollars and requires every U.S. citizen not eligible for Medicaid to attain health insurance coverage that is also heavily subsidized with federal tax dollars for those earning under 400 percent of the federal poverty level; and
WHEREAS, New York’s Medicaid program and all public health spending must be reevaluated in the context of federal health reform with a focus on a modern, patient driven system that ensures public integrity, improves patient outcomes, and places it on a fiscally sustainable path; and
WHEREAS, these federal reforms and subsidies can help New York to reduce its Medicaid and public health costs by billions of dollars annually; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) calls on the Governor and State Legislature of New York to use the recently enacted federal health reform law as a first step in completing a full and complete assumption of all local government Medicaid costs.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this full and complete assumption of Medicaid will lead to significant property tax and budget relief for all counties and New York City leading to a significantly lower local tax burden for all New Yorkers and vastly improving the State’s economic competitiveness; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Association of Counties shall forward copies of this resolution to Governor David A. Paterson, the New York State Legislature and all others deemed necessary and proper.