New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the state Legislature have reached a conceptual agreement on a budget that restores more than $650 million, or 70%, of the governors proposed healthcare funding cuts, the Greater New York Hospital Association and Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union said. In a written statement, the powerful lobbying coalition said it was pleased with the results although, to be sure, this budget agreement is not without pain for New Yorks hospitals and nursing homes.
Both the governor and the healthcare lobby had waged highly charged, combative public campaigns over the proposed $1.3 billion in cuts to Medicaid. Getting to this point was not easy, the healthcare lobby said. The back-and-forth between Gov. Spitzer and New Yorks hospital and nursing home community was a classic example of democracy at its most robust. -- by Cinda Becker