April 5 - John Faso, a Republican candidate for the 19th Congressional seat, proposed changes to federal law that would shift the burden of Medicaid from counties back to the state and save $225 million in property taxes now paid by the district’s taxpayers.
New York places a disproportionate share of Medicaid costs on county governments as a mandate, says Faso. His views are shared by county governments across the state where Medicaid takes up to 95 percent (Otsego) of the county budget. In Dutchess, the percentage is close to 40. Total Medicaid costs paid by counties in New York came to $7.5 billion in 2013-2014, a sum more than that paid by all local governments in other states combined.
Faso explained that the federal legislation authorizes states to share the costs of Medicaid with counties and municipalities. New York, in order to minimize the cost to the state, has placed half the state’s share on counties. Counties get much of their tax income from property owners. Faso wants to shift the cost back to the state over a five year adjustment period. Trimming Medicaid costs would thus become a state priority. New York now has the country’s most generous Medicaid program. New York spends around $54 billion a year on Medicaid, more than Texas, Florida combined. Taxpayers in the counties in the 19th CD paid $225 million for Medicaid.
Faso says property taxes are one of the reasons New York is no longer competitive and is losing in the struggle to retain or create jobs. By lowering property taxes, we can become more competitive, he says.
New York State consumes 15 percent of the national Medicaid budget but only has 8 percent of the population. That disparity results from New Yorks most generous Medicaid program.
Faso was involved in balancing the state budget in the early Pataki administration after Cuomo left the state with a $5 billion deficit. His proposal is the first specific measure that has been proposed by the four candidates for Congress in our district.