All those with an eye toward New York Medicaid planning have been closely following the actions of the federal “Super Committee.” This unique federal, bipartisan committee was charged with coming up with a long-term federal deficit reduction plan totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Failure to reach an agreement on any plan will trigger automatic and deep cuts to a variety of federal funding areas, including Medicaid. Considering that New York Medicaid programs are funded jointly by the federal government and state government (including local governing bodies), the Super Committee’s decision (or lack of decision) may ultimately have significant impact on local program participants.
We now know that the Super Committee has reportedly not reached an agreement. This means that the triggered cuts will likely take effect, so long as national leaders don’t reach some other agreement. This presents a troublesome situation for all those who rely on these programs for basic services; though it remains unknown exactly what effect the potential cuts will have on local residents. In a pre-emptive move, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation last week urging them to do everything in their power to prevent blanket cuts that may do much more long-term fiscal harm than good.
In the letter, reprinted in the Times Union, the Governor reminded our state’s federal delegation that the Super Committee’s actions or the resulting automatic cuts will “have a direct and significant impact on the finances and economy of the state of New York.” Recognizing the long-term viability problems caused by our current federal debt, the Governor argued that progress can be made on the debt front without taking an axe to New York Medicaid and other programs that local citizens have come to rely on.
State Medicaid changes have made local news recently as proposals have been brought forward to save costs and shift the local government burden entirely onto the state. However, the state has thus far managed to avoid any major changes to reimbursements or qualification levels. Yet, the program may still be changed in ways beyond the Governor’s control because of these federal issues. In his letter Cuomo explained how dramatic changes in Medicaid reimbursement rates may have a “catastrophic impact on New Yorkers and our economy.” Proposed cuts in Medicaid and Medicare to the state may total $2.4 billion. Governor Cuomo noted that the result of such cuts would be “closure of fiscally fragile health care institutions, impact individual access to services, and displace thousands of heath care employees.”
See Our Related Blog Posts: