Tag federal issues

City and State: Health care officials offer diagnoses for New York’s funding challenges

City and State, 2/27

Thanks to a flu season that’s one of the worst in recent memory, it has been a tough winter to stay healthy. Influenza hospitalizations are up and thousands have died. The flu vaccine has proven to be less effective than in years past, and public health experts say the disease may have yet to reach its peak. The spread of the virus is likely to continue for weeks.

It has also been a tough winter for New York policymakers and government officials who rely on Washington for funding. While congressional Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they’ve taken incremental steps to undermine the law, such as eliminating the individual mandate. The federal government has also reduced funding for safety net hospitals and for the ACA’s Basic Health Program, both of which play a major role in New York. Some Republicans in Washington still hope to scale back Medicaid and Medicare as well.

So we checked in with a few of New York’s top health care officials to hear their diagnosis of the situation – and how to remedy it.

RICHARD GOTTFRIED

Chairman, Assembly Health Committee

C&S: What are your health legislative priorities this year?

City & State: New York is facing a multibillion-dollar budget gap. Is it a big deal?

By Jon Lentz, January 9

New York is facing a major state budget shortfall this year, no matter whether it ends up being $1.7 billion, $4.4 billion or even a whopping $6.8 billion.

Just like the wide range of figures put forth by budget experts to quantify the projected budget gap, there’s a variety of opinions among politicians as to how bad the state’s fiscal situation truly is.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been running with a flat $4 billion figure, which he cited several times during his State of the State address last week. Exacerbating the state’s troubling financial situation, he said during his speech, was another $2 billion in federal health care cuts – and that’s not even getting into the long-term fiscal impact in New York of the new federal tax law, or other looming cuts proposed by Republicans in Washington, D.C.