"Legislative Report" from Senator Tom O'Mara (recorded on April 13, 2011)

April 14, 2011

Albany, N.Y.—The second installment of State Senator Tom O’Mara's (R-C, Big Flats) new, online “Legislative Report” focuses on New York’s short- and long-term efforts to reform the Medicaid system.

“Medicaid reform was the centerpiece of the recently enacted state budget and it’s going to remain the key fiscal challenge facing New York for some time,” said O’Mara.  “It’s a system that costs state taxpayers more than a billion dollars a week.  Until we get serious about controlling Medicaid spending, we won’t be able to achieve the kind of economic and fiscal turnaround that we’re looking for in New York  State.  This year’s budget was a good start, but there’s a long way to go.” 

During this week’s “Legislative Report,” O’Mara reviews some of the Medicaid reform initiatives included as part of the 2011-2012 state budget and highlights mismanagement as one of the key problems still plaguing the system.  He also discusses ongoing efforts in Chemung County that could point the way to greater cost effectiveness and combating the ongoing costs associated with abuse, fraud and waste, including the greater utilization of cutting-edge fraud prevention technology developed by the Horseheads-based Salient Corporation.

Prior to being elected to the Senate last fall, O’Mara served three consecutive terms in the state assembly where he chaired the Assembly Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud.

In addition to Medicaid reform, this week’s “Legislative Report” also includes O’Mara’s comments on:

-- last weekend’s statewide “Recruit NY” campaign and the challenges facing local fire departments to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and EMTs; and

-- his effort to honor local veterans through the state Senate’s online Veterans’ Hall of Fame with a nomination process currently underway across the 53rd District. 

O’Mara’s 53rd Senate District covers Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates counties, and a part of Tompkins County (the city and town of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Newfield, and Ulysses).

A new “Legislative Report” will be posted on O’Mara’s website every Thursday or Friday during the weeks when the Legislature is in session.