Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-05-2009, 08:12 PM
Laura's Avatar
Laura Laura is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,682
Exclamation US states can divert stimulus aid for Medicaid--NY

US states can divert stimulus aid for Medicaid--NY
Thu Mar 5, 2009 1:09pm EST
By Joan Gralla

NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - U.S. states, including New York, can use some of the Medicaid aid in the U.S. economic stimulus plan for other programs, Governor David Paterson said on Thursday, a day after New York City charged that the state was withholding as much as $900 million of its Medicaid funds.

The Democratic governor said in a statement that Congress only barred states from putting the Medicaid dollars in rainy day funds or lowering the number who can get Medicaid, the federal-state health plan for the poor, disabled and elderly.

In contrast, the $787 billion plan to revive the nation's economy set specific limits on how states spend the transportation and education funds, Paterson said. Much of the education aid must make up for cuts that were planned, while the transportation projects must get under way quickly.

New York is one of a few states that require its cities and towns to also pay for the program's cost, often a thorny issue because the state spends twice the national average, $2,283 versus $1,026, on a per capita basis.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a third-term seeking independent, said the state is keeping 76 percent to 80 percent of the federal stimulus funds for Medicaid -- up from its usual 66 percent share. "This flies in the face of the clear intent that the federal dollars go proportionally to localities based on the actual burden borne," Bloomberg said on Wednesday evening.

Paterson's plan in effect wipes out the 3 percent cap on the growth of Medicaid costs that the legislature approved in 2005 for cities, towns and counties, Bloomberg added.

New York City, which has most of the state's Medicaid patients, will get an extra $1.9 billion from the stimulus plan, but the mayor said it is owed $2.1 billion to $2.8 billion.

Jeffrey Gordon, a spokesman for the state budget division, said New York City was getting "a fair and equitable" amount. The state will spend $1.2 billion curbing the Medicaid budgets of cities, towns and counties, which means the state will "ultimately" take on a bigger burden, he added.

Both New York state and New York City have gaping budget holes, and Paterson plans to partly fill a $14 billion shortfall with deep cuts in healthcare and education.

The state has the nation's most costly program but ranks 30th in the quality of its healthcare, he said. "Statistics show patients still aren't getting the care they deserve," Paterson added.

Paterson's health cuts have been criticized in television advertisements by healthcare lobbyists and on Wednesday he urged the Greater New York Hospital Association to "engage in a public debate" with the health commissioner.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Forum style by: ForumMonkeys
©2006 Disabled NYC
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.