County Government Municipalities Business Schools Tourism Community Elected Officials
Listen to Content:  Click to listen to webpage content in ENGLISH Translate:  Click to translate this page Text Size:  Normal Text Size  Large Text Size
News Release    

March 3, 2004      


County Executive Reacts to State’s Proposed Legislation for Medicaid Reform

Poughkeepsie As a plan was unleashed to begin taking back the cost of the state’s Medicaid program from county governments at a New York State Assembly press conference Wednesday in Albany, Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus reacted to the proposed legislation, bill No. A.9924, the Local Taxpayer Relief Act of 2004 and how it would affect the residents of Dutchess County.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of real Medicaid reform now. It is astounding how much this one state program so negatively impacts county governments and local taxpayers,” said Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus. In 2004 the statewide average growth in Medicaid spending for counties is nearly 15 percent. The 2004/2005 state fiscal year estimated growth in local costs for Family Health Plus alone is 20 percent. In addition, enhancements adopted by state lawmakers since 2000 to expand the Medicaid program have cost Dutchess County approximately $10 million dollars.

The bill (A.9924), would limit the annual county government share of Medicaid by capping the amount paid by counties to a level that could not exceed the amount paid to the state from April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004. The legislation would allow counties to maintain their current level of contribution and the state – who controls the scope and price of services rendered – would be responsible for any additional costs above and beyond this year’s level of spending.

“The idea of capping Medicaid was championed by the New York Association of Counties (NYSAC) and supported by counties and officials statewide back in 2001. Had the reform package been adopted in 2001, Dutchess County’s 2004 Medicaid bill would be $32.3 million, not the projected amount of $48 million,” said Steinhaus. “The inability to implement this reform when it was originally introduced cost Dutchess County property taxpayers $15.7 million dollars this year alone,” he added.

In 1998 Medicaid costs in Dutchess were $28.5 million. Just six years later that amount has increased 68%, or the devastating projected climb to $48 million of the County’s 2004 budget. That amounts to the state charging Dutchess County government $132,000 everyday for one state-mandated program. “I welcome state legislation to put a cap on this program, counties across this great state need help now. It cannot escalate any further,” Steinhaus concluded.

Quick facts: What Medicaid is costing Dutchess County

  • DUTCHESS COUNTY WILL SPEND $48 MILLION ON MEDICAID IN 2004. THAT COST IS 36% HIGHER THAN WHAT THE COUNTY WILL SPEND ON THE DEPARTMENTS OF AGING, HEALTH, YOUTH AND VETERANS COMBINED.

  • DUTCHESS COUNTY WILL SPEND $48 MILLION ON MEDICAID IN 2004. THAT COST IS ALMOST THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT THE COUNTY WILL SPEND ON EMERGENCY RESPONSE, SHERIFF’S LAW ENFORCEMENT, TRAFFIC SAFETY, COURTS, AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICES COMBINED.

  • DUTCHESS COUNTY WILL SPEND $48 MILLION ON MEDICAID IN 2004. THAT ONE-YEAR COST COULD SUPPORT THE COUNTY’S BUS TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM, ROADS AND PARKS MAINTENANCE, SNOW REMOVAL, AND ROAD AND BRIDGE REPAIR FOR MORE THAN 2 YEARS.

  • THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT DUTCHESS COUNTY WILL SPEND IN 2004 TO PAY FOR ONE WEEK OF THE MEDICAID MANDATE COULD FUND THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF ALL DUTCHESS COUNTY OWNED PARKS FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR, INCLUDING THE ELIMINATION OF ALL USAGE FEES FOR RESIDENTS.

  • THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT DUTCHESS COUNTY WILL SPEND IN 2004 FOR ONE WEEK OF THE MEDICAID MANDATE COULD PURCHASE AND DELIVER 211,715 MEALS FOR THE AGING POPULATION -NEARLY 2 YEARS WORTH OF MEALS.

  • THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT DUTCHESS COUNTY WILL SPEND IN 2004 FOR ONE MONTH OF THE MEDICAID MANDATE COULD FUND OVER 12,757 NURSING HOME VISITS PERFORMED BY THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

  • THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT DUTCHESS COUNTY WILL SPEND IN 2004 ON LESS THAN 2 MONTHS OF THE MEDICAID MANDATE COULD PAY FOR MORE THAN ENTIRE YEAR OF DUTCHESS COUNTY AGENCY PARTNERING WHICH INCLUDES FUNDING FOR ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS CORNELL CO-OPERATIVE EXTENSION, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, TOURISM, SPCA, AND FAMILY SERVICES, TO NAME A FEW.


-end-



Go to top of page

   - Home -   |   - Legal Statements -   |   - How to Use this Site -   |   - Contact Us
Last Updated: 8/13/2004