Monday, January 23, 2006

A Medicaid Petition on the Monroe County Website

Those that have followed this blog for a while are aware of how concerned I am of New York State's burdensome Medicaid costs. I believe that the cost of this system, bared both by the state and the counties, is one of the reasons New York taxes are so outrageous, which leads to a high cost of doing business in this state. Oh, there are other factors there too, and they should be addressed. But, as I've stated before in other blog entries, Medicaid is so far out of alignment with where it should be, it's the obvious first place to start.

So I'm researching a post concerning Governor Pataki's budget, the Governor's race, and County Executive Brook's secret plan to plug the budget gap which is due in 90 days. My focus is on how Medicaid costs play into all this. While surfing around, I find a petition on the County Website concerning Medicaid reform.

One point shall now be awarded to Ms. Brooks. Bravo.

It's pretty simple. It briefly touches on things that you could read about in the aforementioned links above and then offers this:

There are solutions to the challenges presented by Medicaid, but there must be the political will in Albany to debate and enact such solutions. The New York Association of Counties, and others, have presented options they believe can lead us out of this crisis.

I believe that the following options are all worthy of consideration and enactment:

1. Capping counties share of Medicaid costs at 2001 Levels, alleviating county taxpayers from the responsibility of the program’s rapidly escalating costs.

2. Giving New York State the revenue from one percent of the sales tax currently levied by counties in return for eliminating counties’ Medicaid responsibilities.

3. Complete funding of Medicaid by the State immediately removing the burden for the program from counties. 48 states do not mandate that their counties pay for a significant portion of Medicaid. Only New York and North Carolina place such a burden on their counties.

It's never easy to make these kinds of changes, and I doubt that the solutions will be very easy either. However, I feel it is incumbent on us all to remain active and continue to push against the line that says we are powerless to change things.

Voicing our displeasure through any possible means will be the only way we get policy makers in Albany to understand that spending is too high and taxes are too high.

I encourage you all to go to the petition link and sign it.