Senate Republicans have successfully stopped former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s devastating state budget cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and home care, and have eliminated an oppressive proposed tax on health insurance policies, said Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C-Olean).
"It was a tough fight this year, especially with current fiscal challenges, but we prevailed. Access to quality, affordable health care is one of the most critical issues we face, especially in rural areas," said Sen. Young, who served on the Health and Mental Hygiene conference committee that negotiated the final 2008-09 health budget that was passed by the Senate today.
The budget restores $245 million in health care funds, including $168.9 to hospitals, nursing homes and home care.
"If the proposed cuts had gone through, it would have hit patient care hard. Our hospitals and nursing homes already operate on the edge because reimbursement rates are so low in Western New York, Sen. Young said.
"Our frail elderly especially would have suffered. In my Senate district, our nursing homes would have lost more than $4.5 million under Spitzer’s plan. Our budget restores over $4.5 million to ensure seniors receive the care that they need and deserve. It also helps county property taxpayers, since all of our county homes were set to be hit with huge funding reductions.
Absolut Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation - Houghton Total restoration = $189,000
Highland Health Care Total restoration = $102,000
Wellsville Manor Nursing Home Total restoration = $29,000
Cuba Memorial Hospital Residential Health Care Facility Total restoration = $513,000
Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center - Machias Total restoration = $409,000
Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center - Olean Total restoration = $324,000
Gowanda Nursing Home Total restoration = $278,000
Absolut Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation - Salamanca Total restoration = $157,000
Gerry Nursing Home Total restoration = $361,000
Absolut Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation - Dunkirk Total restoration = $71,000
Absolut Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation - Westfield Total restoration = $303,000
Lake Shore Nursing Home Total restoration = $47,000
Lutheran Retirement Home Total restoration = $265,000
Chautauqua County Home Total restoration = $415,000
Heritage Green Nursing Home Total restoration = $280,000
Heritage Park Health Care Center Total restoration = $47,000
Lake Shore Hospital, Nursing Facility Total restoration = $312,000
Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation Total restoration = $491,000
The budget also includes $15.6 million to create the "Doctors Across New York" program to alleviate the shortage of physicians in rural and poor urban areas through a medical school loan repayment program and grants to new doctors who practice in medically underserved communities.
"We are fast approaching a doctor shortage crisis in our region. This program will help," Sen. Young said.