Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today called for the passage of important pension and Medicaid reforms at the state level that would provide local taxpayers in Monroe County with more than $53 million in savings over the next two years.
"Rising pension and Medicaid costs have placed undue pressures on local homeowners and property taxpayers," Reilich explained. "I support the plan Gov. Pataki outlined in the executive budget he proposed in January. The proposal strengthens New York’s health care and pension systems while delivering essential pension and Medicaid relief to our local governments. Under the governor’s pension reform proposal, Monroe County taxpayers would save $10.1 million in pension costs. Monroe County taxpayers would also save an estimated $20.2 million in Medicaid costs during the next two years."
Without the needed reforms as outlined in the executive budget, federal, state and local Medicaid spending would amount to almost $44 billion next year, more than any other state, the lawmaker said. Among the reforms Assemblyman Reilich supports:
- Restructure the long-term care system to be more efficient, affordable and more apt to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled.
- Reform pharmaceutical coverage, along with the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program, to allow for more access through traditional health insurance programs.
- Modify the Early Intervention (EI) program. With the senior population growing so quickly, it is becoming more and more expensive to meet needs. To save money, modifications need to be made to account for private insurance coverage and allow for more oversight.
"New York has the most expensive Medicaid program in the nation," Reilich said. "Approximately 3.7 million New Yorkers receive service, and that number is growing at an alarming rate. If we are to continue to be able to deliver the services New Yorkers deserve, our Medicaid system must be reformed. I call on my colleagues to put aside partisanship and reform Medicaid immediately!"