2004 Priority Issue



The continually soaring cost of Medicaid is the single biggest reason for New York's highest-in-the-land state and local tax burden. If New York could bring its per-capita spending down to twice the national average, taxpayers would save more than $3.3 billion a year.

The Business Council Board of Directors adopted a Resolution at their May 10 meeting advocating fundamental Medicaid reforms.

The Senate introduced S.7617 on June 19. The bill was a product of discussions between the Governor's office and the Senate Majority. The Senate passed S.7617 on June 22nd.

The Senate and Assembly have agreed to legislation (S.6058-B/A.9558-B) which contains virtually no reform of the state Medicaid system. The provisions of the bill include:

  • a state takeover of the local share of Family Health Plus
  • limited prescription co-payments for Family Health Plus enrollees
  • six disease state management pilot programs designed to address the high-cost of chronically ill patients
  • establishes a telemedicine demonstration program
  • a $250 billion health care system and community health system grant program
  • a pot of money to go towards "health care stabilization"
  • incentives for people to purchase long-term care insurance, including raising the existing tax credit from 10% to 20%
  • creating an official New York state prescription form

The legislature rejected the Governor's proposals to:

  • create a prescription drug "Preferred Drug List"
  • reimpose a gross receipts tax on hospitals and home health providers


Both houses of the Legislature will pass S.6058-B/A.9558-B.