Streams

CBC makes the pitch for local Medicaid funding relief

Monday, December 12, 2011 - 05:00 PM

Back in the summer--oh those many, many days ago--I wrote about a movement that began among suburban and upstate legislators to have the State start picking up the cost of Medicaid. Currently, localities--such as New York City, as well as county organizations--pay about 16 percent of their local cost.

The program was initially meant as a way to make urban areas--i.e. New York City--pay for having high concentrations of folks enrolled in the program. But now upstate and suburban communities are facing what they say are unsustainable costs and want the state to start taking over the full cost of Medicaid--something most states already do.

The Citizens Budget Commission has no weighed in on the issue, coming out in favor of a state takeover of the system:

Eliminating the local share policy would significantly improve the way New York State finances its Medicaid program. The policy has long placed an inequitable burden on residents living in lower income counties. Serious attempts to end the policy in the past have all fallen short. The recent focus on efficiency in Medicaid and the fiscal pressures on counties due to the property tax growth cap provide an opportunity to fix the policy now.

The full report is after the jump. Expect this to be an item on the agenda when the legislature returns next month.

REPORT Medicaid 12122012

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Comments [1]

Larry Littlefield

FYI this came up under Cuomo the first.  His response was that if the state was going to pick up Medicaid costs, the localities would have to give up some revenues.

Specifically, Cuomo I asked about local governments giving up sales taxes.  In most states sales taxes are mostly collected by state governments, with local governments collecting relatively little.  Here it is an even split.  Statewide, state general sales and gross receipt taxes equaled 2.1% of the personal income of state residents, vs. 1.4% for local sales and gross receipt taxes.  In the U.S. as a whole it is 3.0% for the state, and 0.7% for local government (2007 Census of Governments data).

Having a higher share of the sales taxes collected statewide -- say by knocking 2.0% off what local governments are allowed to charge and adding it to the state rate -- would shift benefit from places with large sales tax generators such as shopping malls to places without them.  

Dec. 12 2011 11:35 PM

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