Hawley: New York State Cannot Afford Congressional Health Care Legislation

Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia)

After nearly a year of horse trading and political backroom deals, Congress made a ‘historic step’ with the passage of their health care reform bill last night. Sadly, this ‘historic step’ was not one that will provide better quality and affordable health coverage for all Americans, but rather will give political favors, add more bureaucratic red tape, and worst of all, will increase costs for middle-class families and local small businesses.

More important, the passage of this legislation also will severely affect health care in individual states and in many cases will make already inefficient programs worse, New York State being a prime example. Over the last decade, the Medicaid spending in New York has increased by approximately 800%. At that rate, the program already was becoming unsustainable and wasting billions of dollars a year. With our state already struggling to rebound from a fiscal crisis, the added cost of this new health care legislation could make things much worse.

I would ask that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo closely examine this bill and determine whether or not this unaffordable federal health care legislation can be legally imposed on New York State.