From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Richard N. Gottfried • Chair, Health Committee
Final bipartisan budget protects quality health care, protects taxpayers
The Assembly and Senate reached agreement with the governor on the remaining aspects of a bipartisan state budget that will help protect New Yorkers’ access to quality, affordable health care while easing the burden on local taxpayers.
The governor’s budget plan would have cut a hole in the health care safety net that the Assembly fought to protect. By rejecting the worst of his shortsighted cuts and taxes, this agreement will help ensure that working families don’t lose access to the health care they rely on.
Assembly and Senate cap local Medicaid burden
The final budget continues the Assembly’s effort to reduce the Medicaid burden on local taxpayers. Although the Assembly pushed for freezing the local Medicaid cost – a hard cap on Medicaid growth – a bipartisan compromise with the Senate will still result in a savings for counties of more than $803 million next year and more than $3.4 billion a year by 2008.
Improving New York’s health care and protecting taxpayers
The Legislature’s budget will improve New York’s health care system and ease the burden on taxpayers.
The final budget:
The agreement also rejects the outrageous out-of-pocket expenses that the governor sought to impose on Family Health Plus enrollees through significantly higher co-pays as well as his attempts to cut basic benefits like vision, dental and hospice care. Instead, the Legislature agreed to only modest increases, such as the generic drug co-pay from $1 to $3, when the governor wanted it to be $10.
The governor spends tens of millions in taxpayer dollars appearing in glitzy television commercials to promote Family Health Plus, only to turn around and propose cuts and fees in the program that working families simply cannot afford. The final budget will allow Family Health Plus to continue providing working families with access to health care.
The budget provides nearly $2 million for programs and services for the elderly through the state Office for the Aging, a 6 percent increase over the previous year. An additional $1 million is in the budget for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and $1.2 million more for the neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) program.
Fighting for a healthier New York
This year’s budget will help make sure the quality, affordable health care New York families need is available for years to come. The Assembly will continue its fight to protect health care.
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