From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Richard N. Gottfried Chair, Health Committee
Governor spends at least $28.8 million to tout health care programs on TV, then cuts benefits
Administration stalls for three months before releasing advertising costs
You have probably seen the television commercials featuring the governor touting various health care programs and taking credit for them. What you don’t hear about is how his budget proposal imposes deep cuts for those same programs he has spent millions touting. In fact, the governor’s spending plan would cut and tax health care by a mind-boggling $1.5 billion – including a $429 million “sick tax” on hospitals, nursing homes and home health care providers.
It’s also troubling that the administration stalled for three months before releasing just how many taxpayer dollars were spent to make it appear the governor supports these programs. The Assembly first requested that information back in January. The New York State Health Commissioner herself promised on Feb. 3 that she would provide the Assembly’s Insurance Committee chairman with the figure. She didn’t, and it took a threat of a subpoena to find that the governor admits to spending at least $28,841,300 over a five-year period to promote programs he is now cutting.
Governor’s budget cuts health care programs
In fact, not only is the governor proposing cuts for health care programs like Family Health Plus and Child Health Plus – which bring health care to the uninsured – he actually opposed the Family Health Plus program when it was first proposed by the Assembly, favoring far more limited benefits. He also wants to cut Medicaid by $1.1 billion, costing New York 34,600 jobs and taking away quality health care coverage from those who need it most. The governor’s budget proposal throws up obstacles in the way of New Yorkers who are trying to get the health care they deserve.
The governor’s budget:
The governor’s cuts could result in the loss of 34,600 jobs and further exacerbate the state’s nursing shortage, not to mention jeopardize patient care. But you won’t see him on TV talking about his proposed cuts.
Governor’s local Medicaid relief 10 years late and nearly $1 billion short
Local governments have been pleading for relief from escalating Medicaid costs – something the Assembly has long supported. The governor has proposed a 10-year takeover of long-term care – saving localities less than 1 percent of their Medicaid costs.
It is good news that the governor has finally seen the need to ease the Medicaid burden on local taxpayers. Had the governor not repealed in 1995 the enacted plan to reduce the local share of Medicaid costs, and had he supported the Assembly’s proposals regarding subsequent expansions to the Medicaid program without a local share, local governments could have saved nearly $1 billion to date.
Assembly Majority protects health care for New Yorkers
Last year, the governor tried to cut health care by $2 billion before a bipartisan legislative coalition beat him back. When it comes to our health and the health of our loved ones, the Assembly will make the right choices that provide the care our families need.
The Assembly Majority has consistently worked to improve health care for all families in New York, and we’ll continue the fight to ensure the governor’s budget is not balanced on the backs of New York’s most vulnerable citizens.
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