Senator Nozzolio Announces Medicaid Reforms To Generate Greater Local Savings

Michael F. Nozzolio

October 17, 2006

Albany—State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) today announced that Medicaid reforms he supported to ease the burden on local governments and property taxpayers have resulted in significantly greater savings than originally projected. Senator Nozzolio called on counties to pass along the unexpected savings to property taxpayers.

“As State Senator, one of my top priorities has been to reduce the escalating property taxes on New York’s homeowners,” said Senator Nozzolio. “The Medicaid reforms enacted by the Senate two years ago are generating significantly greater savings for counties than anticipated and those savings should be passed along to property taxpayers.”

Throughout the State, savings from Medicaid reforms are expected to be a total of $188.6 million more than projected for 2006 and 2007 in Upstate New York and Long Island for a total savings to local governments of $758 million over the two years.

The 2005-06 State budget included measures aimed at stemming the growth of Medicaid, including a sweeping cap on the program’s cost to local taxpayers, as well as strong accountability standards aimed at checking excessive local spending growth.

The budget also implemented a preferred drug list to save on Medicaid spending related to prescription drugs. The Medicaid reforms also placed a strong emphasis on managed care that helped save money while ensuring that New Yorkers have access to quality health care.

This year, the Legislature enacted the Senate-initiated plan to combat Medicaid fraud and create a Medicaid Inspector General. The anti-fraud plan, which is the most comprehensive in the nation, fights fraud and abuse at every step of the process, from billing and pre-payment review to investigation, civil recovery and criminal prosecution of Medicaid thieves. The plan could save taxpayers billions of dollars that are lost through fraud.

In 2004, the State began a takeover of the local share of the Family Health Plus program to provide additional savings to local governments and property taxpayers.

“Property taxpayers were shouldering an unfair burden of increasing Medicaid spending and now we are seeing that the reforms we enacted have helped bring the cost of the program under control,” Senator Nozzolio concluded.