Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus in letters (see sample enclosed) to US Senate & Congressional representatives Schumer, Clinton, Gellibrand, Hall and Hinchey this week expressed strong opposition to changes proposed by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would limit reimbursement for health care providers operated by units of government.
The proposed federal rules have far reaching, financial implications for Dutchess County government and local property taxpayers as well as for other New York State counties and public providers. “The Dutchess County government budget would be facing a devastating multi-million dollar hit. These changes would seriously undermine our ability to provide critical health and mental health services desperately needed by our residents,” wrote County Executive Steinhaus.
Typical of the policies over recent years from federal and state officials, this is just one more case of reducing funding for services and shifting costs to counties, and ultimately to local property taxpayers. County governments will be forced to make the difficult choice to either make up the dollar difference of lost federal dollars by raising property taxes to continue the services for residents, or cut their health and mental health services.
County Executive Steinhaus joins the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors in voicing opposition to the proposed change.