Stop Shorting Us on Medicaid Funds, NYC Tells State

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration objected Wednesday to the way the state plans to distribute Medicaid money included in the federal stimulus package, saying Albany is shorting the city by as much as $500 million.
The state's allocation of the stimulus Medicaid funds “shorts the city anywhere from $200 to $500 million, and possibly even more,'' mayor's spokesman Stu Loeser said in a statement.
New York state expects to receive a $2.7 billion boost in Medicaid money included in the federal stimulus package. State officials estimated earlier Wednesday that New York City will receive $1.9 billion, while the rest of the state will share about $776 million.
But Loeser said the city estimates that its share of Medicaid dollars is at least $2.1 billion, and some estimates go as high as $2.8 billion.
A spokesman for the state budget division, Jeffrey Gordon, said the amount allotted to the city nearly matches “the $2 billion projected by Bloomberg's office in its original budget proposal.''
“We believe that this is a fair and equitable distribution of FMAP funding that provides New York City significant relief,'' he said.
But Loeser said the preliminary estimate of $2 billion over 24 months had since been revised to $2.1 billion over 24 months -- more money than the $1.9 billion the city stands to gain over 27 months.
The money is coming through increased federal Medicaid reimbursements as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. It's meant to help hold the line on New York state's local property taxes, which are among the highest in the nation.
Despite the billions of dollars in federal stimulus money provided through Medicaid, Gov. David Paterson said he still wants some of his Medicaid proposals to go through. He said the state can't afford what he called the fastest growing part of its budget.
Paterson called for painful cuts in his proposed 2009-10 budget, including a 3-percent cut in school aid, a 14-percent increase in tuition to public colleges and reduced Medicaid funding.
Albany's strongest lobbyists are trying to roll back the proposed cuts.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us