What Cuomo doesn’t want to tell you about state’s Medicaid mess

New York Post Opinions 4 days ago

After holding steady for years, New York’s Medicaid costs are blasting through the roof again — threatening to drown the state in red ink.

In separate new reports, the Empire Center and the Citizens Budget Commission both warn that New York is “losing control” over the costs of the program to provide health care for the poor. Absent corrective action, the problems will mushroom, pushing the state deficit for the next four years to an alarming $22 billion (and even higher if the economy goes south).

The watchdogs take parti­cular issue with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response: Rather than rein in costs, the state last year opted to hide them by quietly charging a $1.7 billion payment on this year’s books. That opened a huge fiscal hole that Cuomo and other state leaders have yet to address.

How fast are costs rising? From 2011 to 2016, state Medicaid outlays grew 15%, from $53.7 billion to $61.5 billion. Then, over just the next three years, it surged to $75.5 billion, or 23%.

And that surge wasn’t caused by rising enrollment. Indeed, coverage rolls had grown 25% in 2011-16, but fell slightly over the next three.

The real problem: The cost per enrollee, which was falling through 2016, started heading back up.

Both Empire and the CBC credit Cuomo for taming outlays soon after taking office, when he faced a potential $6 billion Medicaid-funding gap: The gov and the Legislature capped yearly spending and set up a panel to find savings. It worked — and without sacrificing health-care quality.

By 2016, though, costs per enrollee began creeping up. That’s because state leaders didn’t apply the cap to certain outlays — including, notably, minimum-wage hikes that hit health-care providers.

Cuomo and the Legislature can’t say they weren’t warned: In 2016, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli cited an immediate hit to Medicaid of $100 million from the wage hikes. The Empire Center’s Bill Hammond noted that, considering just the 80,000 health-care workers who had been making $10 an hour, the new $15 rate would eventually add $800 million a year for full-time work, all of it coming from “the pockets of New Yorkers.”

Last year’s gimmick of pushing a payment into this year’s budget was a very temporary “solution” — mainly hiding the problem from the public. Worse, it also made it increasingly hard to control costs and keep spending under the cap.

In a letter on the opposite page, the governor’s budget chief claims there’s nothing surprising about the state’s Medicaid mess — but Team Cuomo has yet to even pretend to have answers for how to pay for it all.

The watchdog groups urge a renewed hunt for savings, applying the cap to all Medicaid costs and banning payment delays. But what’s needed most is political leadership, instead of budget tricks.


Source link
Read also:
New York Post › Opinions › 2 weeks ago
You can call Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of state Medicaid outlays “reckless” — if you want to be kind. Yet this seedy pattern of pay-to-play merits far harsher terms. As The New York Times reports, the gov OK’d a $140 million-a-year bump in...
New York Post › Opinions › 23 hours ago
When it comes to New York’s latest Medicaid mess, the buck stops with Gov. Cuomo. Or rather, the buck should stop with him, if only he would enforce his own rules. Turns out the state’s massive government-run health plan for the poor and disabled...
Los Angeles Times › Finance › 3 days ago
The latest bad news for Medicaid work requirement: They are a failure in policy terms (unless the policy goal is to throw people off Medicaid).
New York Post › 3 days ago
Gov. Cuomo announced Monday that the City will be getting a statue of Mother Cabrini — and that Albany’s going to foot the bill. “The state’s going to fund it,” Cuomo told the cheering crowd after announcing plans for the statue as the City...
Raw Story › 1 week ago
On Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” Chris Cuomo caught pro-Trump lobbyist and American Conservative Union director Matt Schlapp in several falsehoods about impeachment — and held him to account. The argument began with Schlapp...
New York Post › 2 days ago
State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie defended Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday for dropping the n-word during a live radio interview. Heastie, who is black, said he “didn’t take any offense” to Cuomo’s comments on WAMC radio, which came as the gov...
Chicago Tribune › Finance › 2 weeks ago
Arizona Medicaid Director Jami Snyder heard many complaints about enrollees missing medical appointments because the transportation provided by the state
New York Post › 2 days ago
Gov. Andrew Cuomo used the N-word during a live radio interview Tuesday while discussing racism against Italian-Americans. Cuomo called into WAMC radio where he was asked about the controversy surrounding Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which was celebrated...
ABC News › Lifestyle › 0 month ago
Whether Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wins or loses in the fall election, the state's rare Medicaid expansion program in the South is staying put
Washington Times › Lifestyle › 6 days ago
Supporters of a proposal to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma say they have enough signatures to put a state question on the ballot next year.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR