In response to Gov. Hochul’s proposal to raid the state’s Medicaid contribution to county governments by more than $625 million, Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) has joined a group of legislators from around the state voicing opposition to the plan. The governor’s plan, if part of the final state budget, will allow the state to pocket more than $625 million in federal matching funds intended for New York’s counties to cover their cost of Medicaid services.
“New Yorkers are facing an affordability crisis and Governor Hochul's plan to raid Medicaid funds will leave County Executives with a choice of cutting safety net services or significantly increasing property taxes. At a time when people are reeling from inflation, the last thing we should be doing is putting our partners on the county level to make this choice which is why I am partnering with leaders on all levels to hold Governor Hochul in check," Slater said.
New York’s Medicaid program is more comprehensive than almost every other state, requiring about half of the total state budget to be earmarked for health care services to low-income residents. Due to this, over 90 cents of every dollar county governments spend funds mandatory welfare and low-income health care services. According to the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), the governor’s plan will result in a property tax increase estimated at 5 to 10 percent at a time when inflation and gasoline prices are already crippling middle-class families.
“I am proud to stand with Assemblyman Slater and Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne in firm opposition to Gov. Hochul’s raid of FMAP funding for counties. This would create an inordinate strain on county budgets across the Hudson Valley, especially in the 17th District, and force the cost of this program onto property taxpayers. The fact that this unserious proposal is even in the governor’s budget is alarming, and the 5 to 10% property tax hike that would accompany it is downright damning,” said Congressman Mike Lawler (NY-17).
Slater has introduced legislation that would require the state to share Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage funds (eFMAP) (the monies the governor wants to keep for the state) directly with counties and New York City.
“I’ve been pushing back on Governor Hochul’s disastrous budget and applaud Assemblyman Slater for standing up and introducing this bill. Congress directed Medicaid dollars for local governments to provide programs that help our most vulnerable. They must be used as intended," said Congressman Mark Molinaro (NY-19).
“Governor Hochul’s proposal to stop sharing federal Medicaid dollars with Putnam County is simply unacceptable. In New York, it is our county governments that administer services our most vulnerable residents rely on. Governor Hochul wants to siphon away more than $1.2 million from Putnam County that directly assists safety net programs, keep it for her own frivolous projects, and force local property taxes to increase. I thank Assemblyman Slater for his relentless advocacy on behalf of our residents and this issue,” said Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne.
“With the proposed state diversion of enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funds, the pockets of hard-working New Yorkers could potentially see tax hikes, which my colleagues and I fight incredibly hard against while in Albany. Residents are already struggling at the grocery stores, at the gas pumps and in every aspect of their daily lives. New York’s Congressional delegation fought to protect taxpayers from expanding Medicaid costs. The failure of the state to share these funds with counties will frustrate that goal, leaving counties responsible for the major costs,” said Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square).
“New York’s counties play a crucial role in delivering critically-important care to some of our most vulnerable constituents through Medicaid. With the proposal to intercept federal funds that were designed to help offset county taxpayer costs while delivering this care, New York is willfully forcing county governments to either cut services or have local taxpayers pick up a huge cost mid-year. It is essential that the Legislature exercise its right as a co-equal branch of state government to protect our constituents from actions that hurt taxpayers and jeopardize the ability of those who need care the most to receive it,” said Assemblyman Josh Jensen (R,C-Greece).
“It’s unacceptable that the governor intends to divert money meant for local government services and use it to repair New York’s fiscal woes. Our county governments provide invaluable services to our residents and this bid by the governor may force them to raise property and school taxes at a time when families are struggling the most. I am proud to join my colleagues and stand against this misguided and dangerous proposal to see that it doesn’t make the final state budget,” said Assemblyman Michael Durso (Massapequa Park).