ALBANY - State Sen. Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) has signed on as sponsor of legislation that would require the State to gradually take over Medicaid costs from the counties, an initiative that would save property taxpayers billions of dollars.
Senate bill 5889-B would immediately freeze the rate local governments pay for Medicaid, effective January 1, 2012. On Oct. 1, 2012, counties' contributions would be decreased by five percent, with local contributions annually reduced until the state entirely funds Medicaid services by 2019. The state Assembly has a matching version of the bill which Assemblyman Andrew Goodell (R,C-Chautauqua) is strongly supporting.
"New York has the highest Medicaid bills in the nation. Medicaid is eating up county budgets, and is by far the largest unfunded mandate. The situation is unsustainable, and taxpayers pay a heavy price. We have to turn our State around to make it more competitive economically, and more affordable to live here. Cutting unfunded mandates and property taxes needs to happen," said Senator Young.
"It is great that Assemblyman (Andrew) Goodell is joining our effort. He has been a tireless advocate for reducing spend, reforming Medicaid, and being on the side of the taxpayers," she added.
Young said she voted for a $2.7 billion reduction in Medicaid spending, and Medicaid reform that was passed in this year's state budget through a hard cap that prohibits the State from increasing Medicaid spending by more than the ten year rolling average of the medical component of the consumer price index.