ALBANY – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is taking aim at U.S. Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence, NY 27) for an amendment he offered to the Republicans’ American Health Care Act, which is being put forward to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Collins, who also is a former political foe of Hochul when she served in Congress, sponsored an amendment that would require states to cover the counties’ share of Medicaid expenses. In New York, the state would pick up the tab for counties outside of New York City.
In a statement released Friday, Hochul said the federal government currently covers 51 percent of Medicaid expenses, the state’s share is 36 percent and county governments pay 13 percent.
If Collins’ amendment is adopted, Hochul said it would cost New York state approximately $2.3 billion.
“Here are the facts: The overall Medicaid plan would cost the state billions of dollars of lost federal funds and jeopardize hospital stability,” Lt. Gov. Hochul said. “As if that were not enough, Rep. Collins would have the state assume the counties’ share of Medicaid expenses outside of New York City. The current breakdown is 13 percent county, 36 percent state, and 51 percent federal. This ill-conceived plan would cost his home state approximately $2.3 billion. Unbelievably, that’s on top of the cost of the Republican Affordable Care Act repeal plan – another $2.4 billion. Translation: Rep. Collins is proposing a tax increase on New Yorkers to the tune of $4.7 billion.”
Hochul called the GOP proposal and the Collins amendment a “one-two punch” that would destroy the hard work the Governor and Legislature have accomplished in the last six years to lower taxes across the board and achieve the lowest spending increases in recorded history. She said New Yorkers will be at risk of losing their healthcare, hospitals will be forced to lay off workers, and our vulnerable elderly will find it much harder to afford nursing home care.
Collins office responded by saying the plan would remove the local Medicaid burden, giving counties more funds to spend on infrastructure and local priorities, instead of sending all of their property taxes to Albany.