News Release

 

 

For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000
countyexec@co.dutchess.ny.us

For Immediate Release

June 28, 1999

 

Steinhaus Again Urges State Lawmakers to Renew Medicaid
Cost Containment Provisions

Deadline for Action is Wednesday, June 30

 

Poughkeepsie, NY - County Executive William R. Steinhaus today stressed the urgency for state lawmakers to act by tomorrow, June 30th, on renewing medicaid cost containment provisions. These provisions are important in helping to stabilize local real property taxes. The Medicaid cost containment measures are set to expire on Wednesday, June 30th, and failure to extend the measures would place a $1.4 million dollar burden on Dutchess County property taxpayers.

"The County is mandated to pay a portion of the Medicaid costs and yet we have no control over them," Steinhaus stated. "We at the county level are simply given the bill and are obligated under law to pay it. In the past few years the cost containment measures have given us some amount of control, but without them we will have none which is frightening considering medicaid costs have jumped 13% from June 1998 to June 1999."

Due to the increased costs of prescriptions, hospitalizations and long-term care, the local Dutchess County share of  Medical Assistance (MMIS) costs are projected to be $30.5 million this year versus the $27.5 million last year. MMIS encompasses the County's share of the cost of
medical care and services provided to eligible low income participants. "We are looking at double digit increases in the County's mandated medicaid costs for two years in a row," Steinhaus noted. "And this year's projected Medicaid costs are valid only if spending stays consistent for the rest of the year, but historically these costs tend to increase toward the end of the year."

Steinhaus had sent a letter on June 8" to State lawmakers representing Dutchess County to seek their support for extending the Medicaid cost containment provision. "Unfortunately since county officials began sounding the alarm three weeks ago about the June 30 deadline, the State Assembly has still failed to act to protect county property taxpayers," said the County Executive.

"Local budgets created last fall were based on the continuation of the cost containment measures the state previously supported," commented Steinhaus. "Not reinstating these cost containment's, coupled with the rising Medicaid costs, could affect county budgets, not to mention the impact it will have on our property taxpayers."

"State lawmakers have only until tomorrow night to take action on the Medicaid cost containment provisions. If they do not, the county budget will suffer the consequences," Steinhaus warned. "Medicaid costs continue to be a real burden to local property taxpayers."

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