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July 11, 2003

Walsh to serve on Senate panel advising on Medicaid reform

Daniel B. Walsh, president/CEO of The Business Council, has been asked to serve on an advisory panel that will work with a state Senate task force on Medicaid reform.

Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno created the bipartisan, 40-member advisory panel in June to work with the Senate's task force. The task force will seek ways to reform and improve New York's costly Medicaid system. It will focus on three categories of Medicaid spending: long-term care, acute care, and pharmaceuticals.

Walsh will serve on the panel along with top business and government leaders from different sectors in New York.

"The members of this advisory panel bring a tremendous wealth on information and depth of perspective that are critical to making this task force a success," said Senator Bruno.

The Business Council has long supported Medicaid reform to contain costs, which are by far the nation's highest on a per-capita basis. The Council's research affiliate, The Public Policy Institute of New York State, has extensively analyzed New York's Medicaid costs and how they compare to other states'.

For example, in November 2002, The Institute noted that New York's Medicaid spending in 2002-03 would total $36 billion - more than 40 other states would spend in their entire budgets that year.

"[That] works out to $1,890 for every state resident, roughly 2.5 times the per capita average nationwide," The Institute reported in its Budget Watch '03 series on spending excesses in New York State.

For the entire Budget Watch issue, visit www.ppinys.org/bwatch03.htm.