Health Budget Okayed By Senate

James L. Seward

March 15, 2005

The senate’s 2005-06 New York State budget restores nearly $730 million in cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and health care that were proposed by the executive, while also taking steps to rein in the spiraling cost of Medicaid to local property taxpayers.

The senate budget bills restore $730 million in cuts to New York’s health care system, preserving vital programs and services that help protect public health, and reject new and higher taxes on hospitals and nursing homes, as well as cuts in payments for home health aides.

Measures are also included in the senate's plan aimed at stemming the growth of Medicaid, including a sweeping cap on Medicaid costs to local property taxpayers, increased local accountability, an aggressive crackdown on fraud, increased emphasis on managed care and limits on some services.

To provide additional relief to local governments, the senate plan also speeds up the state takeover of the Family Health Plus program. Taken together, these actions will save local property taxpayers over $3.3 billion annually when fully effective.

"Soaring Medicaid costs continue to impose an unacceptable burden on local propetry taxpayers. The reforms contained in the senate’s budget shield local taxpayers from runaway costs, but also include steps to bring New York’s Medicaid program under control," said Sen. Seward.
Highlights of the senate’s health budget plan include: