County leaders call on lawmakers to reject state’s Medicaid proposal

State News

ALBANY, NY – MARCH 16: The New York State Capitol building is seen March 16, 2008 in Albany, New York. New York State Lt. Gov. David Paterson will be sworn in here on March 17, replacing Gov. Eliot Spitzer who resigned last week in a prostitution scandal.(Photo by Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — County leaders from across New York State took to the Capitol on Wednesday to meet with senators and assembly members, asking them to reject part of Governor’s proposed budget that they say is going to negatively affect taxpayers.

“This is probably the greatest challenge facing this association, maybe in the last 55 years,” Jack Marren, President of New York State Association of Counties told News10.

“There’s a $6 million budget deficit in the state budget for next year,” Mark LaVigne, Deputy Director, of NYSAC said, “out of that $6 billion, $4 billion is Medicaid. The governor has convened an MRT, a Medicaid re-design team, to lower the cost of Medicaid by $2.5 billion, and he’s asking local taxpayers to pay more in Medicaid a year.”

However, the state’s announcement of that new Medicaid redesign team says the governor is directing the team to identify savings that ensure zero impact on local governments.

County leaders insist loyal taxpayers will get hit. Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says he was originally going to present his State of the County address the same week that Governor Cuomo gave the State of the State, but the announcement of the proposed changes to Medicaid caused him to step back and reevaluate.

“This is a federally and state run program that we have no oversight over. We can’t say who gets benefits, who doesn’t get benefits,” McCoy said, “we only run the programs, and the state and feds tell us how to run the programs. So it’s alarming to us because, how do we save money?”

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