State lawmakers push to change Medicaid funding following property tax cap

September 20, 2011 10:07AM

New York State legislators want to reduce or eliminate local counties’ contribution to Medicaid in order to reduce property taxes levied to New Yorkers, the Albany Times Union reported. On average, 45 percent of local property taxes are sent to the health insurance program. Lawmakers believe that is contributing to the relatively high property taxes New Yorkers pay, and burdening families, and in turn, the economy.

In June, Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted a cap on property tax increases, and lawmakers are concerned that for counties to comply with the cap and fund their share of Medicaid, it would eliminate funding for crucial public services, including police units and infrastructure repairs.

However, health care advocates point out that one in four New Yorkers use Medicaid and one million residents have been added to the program in the last decade.

For changes to the law, upstate legislators will have to campaign heavily in New York City, where property taxes are of less concern because of a city income tax and other financing tools, the Times Union said. [Times Union]