Thiele: “Governor’s Proposed Cuts to Local Hospitals Are Ill-Considered”

The governor again targets local health care
March 1, 2010
New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) today charged that Governor Paterson’s proposed state budget cuts would unfairly impact local hospitals by more than $1.35 million, if they were to be approved by the State Legislature. Specifically, the cuts to local hospitals would be as follows:
Southampton Hospital $466,000
Peconic Bay Medical Center $565,000
Eastern Long Island Hospital $321,000

Thiele stated, “Our community hospitals have already been adversely impacted by taxes and cuts enacted in 2008 and 2009, which I opposed. Cumulatively, the 3 East End community hospitals were cut by $1.68 million over the past two years. Rather than impact local health services, the Governor should be focusing his attention on health insurance companies and HMOs. At the same time that hospitals are in the red and receiving insurance reimbursement rates that are lower than even Medicaid, insurance companies continue to reap obscene profit levels while at the same time holding our community hospitals hostage. Instead of bankrupting community hospitals, the Governor may want to consider a comprehensive reform that reins in excessive profits and returns that money to the “heart” of the health care system: our local hospitals. Health care should be about patients, not profits and stockholders.”