Monday, April 04, 2011
This post may mean nothing to you if you are not in New York State (unless you have such a dysfunctional government, too). The lords of the realm have passed the budget. ON TIME. For the first time in years. According to the news story, "The budget cuts spending by roughly 2% and closes a nearly $10-billion deficit without relying on tax increases or borrowing."
A 2% spending cut is pittance. School aid was cut (justly so, but not enough in my opinion), but taxes were not lowered. Taxes must be lowered to make NYS competitive again. But I give the legislators a little credit for closing the $10 BILLION gap.
On the Medicaid front:
Total Medicaid spending including federal, state and local spending of $52.6 billion represents a decrease of $337 million, or minus 1 percent. Future growth in Medicaid will be limited to the 10-year rolling average of the Medical CPI, currently 4 percent. As with education, the budget includes a two-year appropriation.
The budget includes a cap of $15.3 billion on Department of Health Medicaid state expenditures, which represent the largest and one of the fastest growing component of state spending.
It's no big surprise that Medicare and Medicaid are super-expensive. But the programs have created the expenses-- insurance and Medicaid bloat prices so much with the "a rising tide lifts all boats" syndrome. Due to the exponentially increasing costs of health care in the state, some folks are checking out Medicare Supplemental Insurance quotes for NY medicare supplemental insurance. It is SO HARD to find doctors, too. Doctors used to take all kinds of insurance here, especially not limiting insurance for children, but now we have to find a *certain* kind of doctor who will only take a *certain* kind of insurance.
Don't get me wrong, I am NOT in favor of federally-mandated insurance. No way. But I do think that if states want to have their own insurance programs, that's legal. IF they can afford it, of course.
We'll see how next year pans out for New York State....