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#KeeptheCap Blog: The Effort Moves to the Legislature

Now that the budget is set, it's up to the legislature to protect local taxpayers and keep the cap on local Medicaid costs. 

2/24/2020

Last Friday, Governor Cuomo released his 30-day amendments to the Executive Budget proposal. These amendments are the last chance for changes to the proposed budget before both houses of the legislature release their own one-house budgets.

The 30-day amendments were also the last chance the Executive had to alter the Medicaid proposal contained in the proposed budget. Unfortunately for counties, the deadline came and went with no significant changes to the Medicaid proposal.

Now that the budget is set, it's up to the legislature to protect local taxpayers and keep the cap on local Medicaid costs. 

Our message to legislators moving forward is simple:

Remove Part R of the Health and Mental Hygiene Article VII language from the Final Budget, and the accompanying $150 million cost shift to local taxpayers.

What exactly is Part R?

Part R consists of three initiatives that would impact the Medicaid local share that county taxpayers pay in support of the program:

  1. Capping the eFMap Federal Fiscal Benefits to Counties – Caps the amount of federal savings for counties and New York City from the Affordable Care Act. As proposed, the savings would be transferred to the benefit of the state financial plan. 
     
  2. Require Counties and NYC to adhere to the 2% property tax cap – or lose the saving from the state-funded local Medicaid growth cap.

  3. Adhere to a Local Share Medicaid Costs Increase of no more than 3% - if a county's local share and associated savings exceeds 3% in any given year, the county is required to refund any excess benefit over 3% back to the state

These three proposals combine to place New Yorkers at risk of paying higher taxes or losing vital services including: Veterans' services, Meals on Wheels and other senior services, youth services, STOP-DWI initiatives, road maintenance and repair, and public libraries.

Additionally, last week saw the final meeting of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT). This team has been tasked with finding over 2.5 billion in savings in the Medicaid program.

We concur that additional reforms are needed to place the Medicaid program on a sustainable fiscal path. In support of that effort counties have submitted a list of Medicaid reform recommendations that will generate more than $150 million in savings.

We believe the most appropriate way to proceed is to let the MRT determine and implement its recommendations before any changes are made to the local Medicaid cost caps.

With little more than a month to go until the April 1 budget deadline, it's critical that we let state legislators know that any Medicaid proposal must protect local taxpayers and local services and keep the current cost control caps in place.

For more information and the latest updates on our effort to KeeptheCap, visit: www.nysac.org/medicaid

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