Assembly GOP Proposes Medicaid Reform

Assembly Republicans unveiled legislation Monday to restructure New York’s Medicaid program. The bill would require the state assume the full local share of Medicaid, everywhere but New York City.

The change would be phased in over a decade to “allow the state time to make structural changes that do not reduce services to the overall cost of the program.” Over a 20 year period, the state would take on half of New York City’s costs as well.

“Simply put, we can no longer sit idly by and watch New York take ownership of another ‘Worst Of’ label,” Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said. “Continuing to force localities to pay massive Medicaid costs leads to higher property taxes and punishes taxpayers, homeowners and businesses alike. We must change how New York does business when it comes to managing sky-high Medicaid enrollee costs.”

The New York State Association of Counties has long prioritized Medicaid mandate relief. It said the 57 counties and New York City pay $7.5 billion annually and it accounts for the vast majority of county tax levies.

The Minority proposal would mandate the savings be passed on directly to the taxpayer.

“In Monroe County, our 2018 Medicaid payment to Albany will total $175 million. If we were empowered to pass those savings on to taxpayers, we would be able to cut our property tax rate nearly in half,” Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said.

GOP Gubernatorial front-runner Marc Molinaro, who Kolb endorsed Monday, also expressed his support for the plan. He said in Dutchess County, where he currently serves as county executive, the mandate accounts for 70 percent of the tax levy.

“Minority Leader Kolb’s proposal will lift a major burden off the backs of state property taxpayers, providing much-needed tax relief that will benefit New Yorkers and boost our state economy,” he said.

Last year, congressmen Chris Collins and John Faso proposed an amendment to the Republican healthcare legislation which would have required New York to take on the local Medicaid burden. The legislation, which ultimately failed, did spur criticism from the governor’s office.

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