Tag medicaid

What the New Administration in Washington Means for  Health Policy in New York

By Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried

The election of Donald Trump and Republican control of Congress are a serious threat to programs and policies that protect our health.  Washington could make radical changes to Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, reproductive care, and other programs that could drastically undermine our right to health care, cost New York State billions of dollars a year in federal funds, and destabilize health care providers.

The first step in stopping or reversing these attacks is to clearly understand what’s at stake and spread the word.  There is hardly anything more rigged against working people than health care.  The Trump-Republican agenda will make it worse.  This is a time to redouble efforts in more progressive states like New York to create universal access to health care, with funding based fairly on ability to pay, through an “improved Medicare for all” system.

For years, congressional attacks on funding and programs have been defeated by the threat or use of presidential vetoes.  Now we will have a president who may be leading the charge.

Gannett – Repeal of Obamacare could bust New York’s budget

By Joe Spector, 11/11 (via WGRZ)

ALBANY — President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could have steep fiscal implications for New York, which has 3.3 million people enrolled in its health exchange.

Since New York’s health exchange launched under so-called Obamacare in 2013, Medicaid recipients rapidly increased as millions of low-income New Yorkers signed up for health care.

The federal government subsidized much of the cost, and last year New York launched a new program, the Essential Plan — an off-shoot of Medicaid that in part provides coverage to immigrants otherwise ineligible — that has seen its enrollment soar.

The state Budget Division estimated that the federal subsidies for the Essential Plan alone this year would exceed $1 billion, which could be wiped out under Trump’s proposals.

Times-Union – End of Obamacare Could Cost New York $850M

By Claire Hughes, 11/10

President-elect Donald Trump‘s intention to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act could affect New York’s budget, to the tune of at least $850 million a year.

Billions more are at stake if a Trump administration and Republican-led Congress stop funding the expansion of Medicaid under the 2010 law, the signature health policy of President Barack Obama known as Obamacare.

Other Republican reforms could impact what New Yorkers pay for health insurance, whether they are individuals buying policies on the state’s Obamacare website, NY State of Health, or workers who get coverage through their employers.

A full repeal of the law may not be that easy, at least under current congressional rules, but changes that affect the federal budget could be made through the reconciliation process. Republicans have already tried to alter the law through that method, but have had their bills vetoed by President Obama. President-elect Trump would likely sign off on such measures, said Richard Nathan, who directs the ACA Implementation Research Network at the Rockefeller Institute of Governmentin Albany.

At a minimum, the state would lose a large portion of the estimated $850 million in federal assistance for offering what in New York is called the Essential Plan, according to state Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan. The Essential Plan offers health coverage with no deductible for $20 a month to low income New Yorkers who do not qualify for Medicaid.

LongIsland.com – NYS Legislators Call For Adequate Financial Support For Donor Breast Milk

May 23, 2016

Albany, NY – May 23, 2016 – Today Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Health, Kemp Hannon, and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages were joined by Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Health Richard N. Gottfried and Assembly member Steve Englebright  in calling for the passage of A9353A/S.6583.  This bill would ensure adequate financial support for the use of donated, pasteurized breast milk – a life-saving, cost-effective treatment for high-risk, premature infants born at less than 3 ½ pounds.  If signed into law, New York will join California, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Utah and Washington D.C. in providing insurance coverage for donor human milk.

“Equal access to donor breast milk will positively impact the life chances of our state’s tiniest and most critically ill babies, said Assembly member Michaelle C. Solages.

“Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to provide a child a healthy start in life. While a mother’s own milk is the optimal nutrition for her baby, donor breast milk is the next best option for mothers who are unable to produce breast milk or infants who are unable to receive maternal breast milk. This legislation will ensure infants in need of such nourishment are able to receive donated, pasteurized breast milk.” stated Senator and Senate Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon

“Providing Medicaid coverage of donor breast milk is a health equity issue,” said Assembly member and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “More than 70% of pre-term births in New York State are covered by Medicaid,” he added.

VIDEO – Capital Tonight re: Medicaid budget

I joined Liz Benjamin on Time Warner Cable’s Capital Tonight for an update on New York City Medicaid negotiations, one of the key topics in this year’s budget debate.  Video is here.

Newsday: Home care agencies, nonprofits worry about $15/hour wages

By Ridgely Ochs, 3/16

The group of about a 1,000 people with developmental disabilities, their caregivers and family members gathered Friday outside the state office building in Hauppauge, holding placards that read “Fully Fund the $15” and chanting “Please be fair to direct care.”

A little more than two weeks earlier something similar took place at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo took the lectern and told the roaring crowd of about 500 mostly union workers that “this is about fundamental fairness.”

Politico NY: State wage hike intensifies staffing challenge for health care providers

By Dan Goldberg, 3/15

Dan Brown was having trouble hiring.

Thousands of developmentally disabled men and women in the Southern Tier live in the ranch-style homes that Brown’s organization operates or rely on the community services it provides. They count on the staff at the Franziska Racker Centers to help them live full lives, whether that means driving them to museums or helping them learn to buy groceries.

But the Racker Centers’ vacancy rate had nearly doubled over the course of a year to 17 percent. Job candidates would schedule interviews but wouldn’t show.

Brown suspected he knew why.

Politico NY: Community groups worry about being left out of Medicaid reform

By Dan Goldberg, 1/28/16

Anthony Feliciano is popular these days. He is the director for the Commission on the Public’s Health System, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that advocates for medically underserved populations.

In that role, he has been approached by several of the largest health systems in the state, which have asked what the community he serves needs to improve its collective health.

Feliciano spends a few minutes on the phone and patiently answers their questions.

He’s told they might follow up. Some do, some don’t.

Politico: Cuomo, de Blasio have small window to find savings in Medicaid

By Dan Goldberg and Josefa Velasquez, January 21

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have less than 10 weeks to find $180 million in Medicaid savings if they are to keep a pledge to find efficiencies in the program before the state budget is enacted. The new fiscal year begins on April 1.

The sudden sprint is the result of Cuomo’s proposal to lift the cap on New York City’s Medicaid share, a move that would cost the city nearly $2 billion over the next four years if it were to take effect.

Cuomo said his own proposal won’t be necessary because “there are no two people better equipped to work through tough issues than the mayor and myself.”

De Blasio, eager to avoid potentially devastating cuts, agreed to find the efficiencies and savings sought by Cuomo, whose original rationale for lifting the city’s cap did not mention efficiencies or administrative savings.

Capital Tonight: Health Care & Medicaid in Puerto Rico (Video)

Full video here: http://www.twcnews.com/nys/capital-region/capital-tonight-interviews/2015/10/26/richard-gottfried-102615.html

Summary here: http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2015/10/gottfried-sees-colonialism-in-treatment-of-puerto-rico/

From the Morning Memo:

Democratic Assemblyman Richard Gottfried knocked the historic approach the federal government has taken toward Puerto Rico as well as its imbalanced Medicaid reimbursement rates for the commonwealth.

“They’re losing doctors, more and more of the people of Puerto Rico are now moving to the mainland and it’s a continuation of over a century of pretty crude colonialism,” he said, adding there may be “a bit of racism” in how the U.S. deals with issues facing the commonwealth government’s finances compared to other non-state territories.