Monday, March 14, 2005
MEDICAID WATCH '05, A SERIES OF REPORTS
DOCUMENTING THE CASE FOR MEDICAID REFORMS TO REDUCE TOTAL SPENDING
ALBANY—The Public Policy Institute of New York State has launched Medicaid Watch '05, a new series of reports designed to document the case for reforms that reduce overall costs imposed on New York’s taxpayers, businesses, farmers, and county governments.
Two one-page reports in the new Medicaid Watch '05 series will be published each week for the next several weeks. The reports will emphasize facts and statistics that highlight the differences in Medicaid spending between New York State and every other state, said Robert Ward, director of research for the Public Policy Institute and author of the reports.
The first report in the series was published today. It is called Virtually Everyone Agrees Medicaid Costs Too Much. Will Albany Finally Act? All of the one-page reports in the series will be available in PDF format at www.ppinys.org.
Governor Pataki’s proposed budget estimates that total Medicaid spending in the coming fiscal year will be around $45 billion in federal, state, and local funds—but hospital workers’ unions and other spending advocates want to spend even more, today’s report says.
“The program cost every New Yorker an average of $2,112 in fiscal 2003, the latest year for which national data are available. That was 2.3 times the national average, and far above comparable states such as Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and California,” the report said.
Reducing New York’s spending to merely twice the national average would save taxpayers $5.3 billion, the report noted.
“Capping local increases, alone, won’t solve our fundamental problem of Medicaid costing too much,” the report said. “The Governor and the Legislature must also act to scale back New York’s outmoded health-care system, restructure long-term care, and otherwise control Medicaid costs. Not shift costs—control them. That’s the only real answer.”
The first report is available at www.ppinys.org/medicaid/2005/mwatch1.pdf.