WAMPSVILLE — Madison County Chairman John M. Becker joined representatives from county governments across New York in Albany at the State Capitol on Wednesday to voice their concerns over potential changes to the Medicaid program and call on state lawmakers to maintain current Medicaid cost control caps.
The day long event was hosted by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).
“As we have always done, counties stand united behind lowering the cost of Medicaid and improving the quality of care for those in need,” said NYSAC President John F. Marren, the Ontario County Chair. “However, any state Medicaid proposal must protect local taxpayers and services by keeping the current cost control caps in place.”
New York is one of the few states in the nation to require county funds to cover the cost of Medicaid, and the only one that required county taxpayers to fund a full half of the State’s share when it was implemented in 1966, NYSAC officials said.
Counties and New York City fund $7.6 billion of the state’s more than $70 billion Medicaid program. In 2012, to help counties and local governments adhere to the 2% property tax cap, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers enacted a zero growth Medicaid cap. The cap helped counties stabilize and, in some cases, reduce county property tax rate levies.
“We are willing to partner with the state to find ways to manage Medicaid costs and improve the quality of care for our residents,” said John M. Becker, Madison County chairman. “But local taxpayers can’t afford additional tax increases or cuts to services, which is why we must maintain the current state cost control caps.”
The proposals contained in the governor’s proposed executive budget are projected to shift approximately $150 million in additional costs on to New York counties. In Madison County, that could be an extra $11 million in costs, officials said, which could result in dramatic increases in property taxes or cuts to services including: veterans’ services, public safety services, road maintenance and repair, youth services, public libraries, STOP-DWI initiatives, Meals on Wheels and other senior services, tourism promotion, and more.
“We recognize that the Medicaid program has been growing and is making a real difference in many people’s lives,” Becker said. “But these costs are not controlled by counties and we think it’s unfair to ask local taxpayers to foot the bill for increases that counties don’t control.”
For additional information and resources related to the SF2021 Budget Medicaid Proposals visit https://www.nysac.org/medicaid.