Monday, June 26, 2017

NY Gov. Cuomo Eyes Faso-Collins Federal Tax on Counties to Offset Medicaid Hit

New York Gov. Cuomo is set to Propose a Tax on Counties that would take Effect if Congress Enacts a Health Care Provision to shift the $2.3 billion Local Share of Medicaid outside New York City on to the State. The Tax would be designed to Generate the Revenue for the State to Cover the Entire Cost of the shift, Cuomo Administration officials said.

The Governor intends to push the Measure if the Legislature returns to Albany in coming weeks to Extend the expiring Law giving New York City Mayor de Blasio Control over City Schools. The New Charge would be listed on County Property Tax Bills as the “Faso-Collins Federal Tax”, named after New York GOP Reps. John Faso, of Columbia County, and Chris Collins, of Erie County, whose Plan for the Cost Shifts were included in both the Senate and House versions of Federal Health Care Reform Bills.

Cuomo, in a letter to be sent Monday to the State’s Congressional Delegation, called the Faso-Collins Provision a “Political Ponzi Scheme”. “The Faso-Collins shell game cuts $2.3 billion in…funding to New York (state) and will force every resident of this state to pay a ‘Faso-Collins Federal Tax’ added onto local property taxes to make up the difference to avoid decimation of our health care system,” Cuomo wrote. Cuomo in his letter to the Congressional Delegation warned that “if this bill passes, Faso, Collins and other Republican members of New York’s delegation who supported it will have to answer to the people of this state for it,” Cuomo added. “For those in the delegation who supported this legislation, New Yorkers will remember that you were elected to serve them but instead fought to cut our funding and our vital health care services.”

Faso and Collins have argued that Cuomo should be able to easily find the Savings in the existing Budget. Faso on Sunday said Cuomo’s Warning of a Tax is “a typical exaggerated and hysterical reaction from him. The governor really needs to man up and take control of his Medicaid responsibility like 49 other governors have done,” he said. Faso said his Plan gives the State until 2020 to Plan for the Change. “That’s plenty of time to reform its program and eliminate waste and duplication that is prevalent in the Medicaid system,” he said. “His refusal to do so means he’s willing to continue to stick it property taxpayers.” Cuomo Aides argue the State has Reformed its Medicaid program and kept Spending increases at or below 2% the past seven years.

But State GOP Party spokeswoman Jessica Proud, citing the Independent Citizens Budget Commission, said the New Budget actually increased spending by 3.75% and the State faces a $20 billion deficit in four years. She also said that there is no guarantee Counties will use the total savings from the Faso-Collins plan to Lower Property Taxes since they could put the Money toward Covering other Mandates that are stretching their Budgets. Imposing a Tax would serve as a Double hit on Taxpayers, she said. “New York spends more on Medicaid than Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania combined, but rather than figure out a way to control costs, Cuomo is rushing to raise taxes again,” Proud said. “New Yorkers are already being taxed to death and in next year’s election, they will remember that Andrew Cuomo is to blame.”

A Cuomo Official shot back that “instead of trying to actively hurt their constituents, they should work to recover some of the $40 billion more in taxes that New Yorkers pay to Washington that they never get back.”
Meanwhile, Cuomo, who last week announced a Series of Forums Statewide to discuss the Impact of the Federal Health Care Plans on New York, is expected to take part in at least one of them. “No one is fooled by the same old Washington games,” Cuomo wrote to the Delegation. "The dangerous bill strips millions of New Yorkers of their health care in order to pay for tax cuts for the rich. It attacks the rights of women, and it endangers care for many of the most vulnerable among us. The bill will have a catastrophic impact on New Yorkers and our economy."

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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