Hat tip: Dan Brophy
New York: Albany’s Self-Inflicted Medicaid Crisis
In 2020, the biggest headache facing Albany will be Medicaid, the state-run health plan that covers more than 6 million lower-income and disabled New Yorkers. As revealed last month, Medicaid is running 16 percent over budget—opening a $4 billion deficit in the state’s current financial plan and contributing disproportionately to a $6.1 billion gap for the fiscal year that begins April 1. […] As of 2016, New York’s per-capita Medicaid spending, at $3,236 per resident, was the nation’s highest—and 79 percent above the national average.
“By the end of 2018, New York’s Medicaid deficit had ballooned to $1.4 billion. Cuomo didn’t bother mentioning it in his January 2019 budget proposal or in his budget negotiations with the legislature over the next three months. Instead, he quietly postponed a full month’s worth of Medicaid payments—8 percent of the annual total—from late March to early April, not letting legislators know about it until after they had finalized the budget for the 2019–20 fiscal year.
The newly enacted budget was immediately unbalanced in two ways. First, it was unexpectedly saddled with $1.7 billion in unpaid bills from the previous year. Second, it didn’t factor in the higher spending rate that had caused the program to go over budget in the first place. Thus, Cuomo’s stalling tactics effectively turned a $1.7 billion problem into a $4 billion problem.”