New York Gov. David Paterson called for $506 million in Medicaid cuts to shave $1 billion from the states 2008-09 budget in an upcoming special legislative session. His proposal would cut another $1.04 billion from Medicaid in 2009-10 to narrow a projected $6.4 billion budget gap. Hospitals would see a 7% Medicaid rate cut for six months of 2008 and a 3.5% cut for 2009. The state would also wipe out an adjustment for inflation. Combined, the measures would save $76.8 million over a six-month period in 2008 and roughly double that in 2009. An assessment on hospital revenue would generate another $22.6 million for six months in 2008 and more than $44 million in 2009.
Nursing homes would be the hardest hit under Patersons plan, which calls for a half-dozen measures, including Medicaid rate cuts, for 2008 savings of $169.4 million. The cost-savings would produce roughly $338 million for 2009. Pharmacies, the insurance industry, home care and certain Medicaid premiums and cost-of-living adjustments also face cuts or new assessments under Patersons proposal, totaling $236.9 million for six months in 2008 and more than $470 million the following year.
Overall, the plans would slow New Yorks Medicaid growth in 2008 to 1.7% from an estimated 4%, according to the governors office. The Greater New York Hospital Association and Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers East, in a jointly issued statement, urged lawmakers to reject the cuts. By any measure, these are staggering cuts that would devastate New Yorks healthcare infrastructure and severely threaten access to care, the statement said. -- by Melanie Evans
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