Albany magic solves Jeffrey Sachs problem from this blog's yesterday post and New York Times article, "Sachs should register as a Lobbyist."
Cuomo, the illusionist, hopes the quick sleight of hand has you believe the "Medicaid Redesign Team handed off a package of 79 recommendations designed to save $2.3 billion from the health care program in the 2011-2012 fiscal year." without the input of their leader, Jeffrey Sachs.
"Conspicuous in his absence from the Thursday meeting was Jeffrey Sachs, a Cuomo friend and Redesign Team member whose private consulting work for several New York hospitals has drawn concern from ethics watchdogs. A spokesman said Sachs had a scheduling conflict."
Supposedly, they would save $2.3 billion out of almost $53 billion, but of course, this Albany budgeting and this savings is not on this year's budgeted amount, but on a projected larger amount for next year. "The meeting began with good news from state Budget Director Robert Megna, who reported that due to slower-than-expected growth in the state's Medicaid caseload, some $375 million of the cost savings from the group's original target of $2.85 billion wouldn't need to be accounted for in their recommendations."
Now was the illusionist successful? Do you believe Cuomo's Lobbyist friend, head of Medicaid Redesign Team, had no input into recommendations issued the day he didn't show up, or that the savings were on this year's expenditures and not only on projected increases?
The results are in: Cuomo and his Medicaid Redesign Team fail
Here's the blog's January 17, 2011 letter to Cuomo:
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Send your Medicaid Redesign Team (committee) packing and preparing for their new diet. It's reported, "Every year it's the 800-pound gorilla of the state budget, soaking up money that could be used for tax cuts to make our economy competitive, or for expanding health-care coverage, or for improving education—or for all that, and more. Medicaid is also the major component in county property taxes—and New York's excess property tax burden, now about 62 percent above the national average per capita."
I've copied a comparison of various State's Medicaid Expenditures per person served for 2008. The present numbers are much higher, but the comparison remains. Note that very progressive States with large urban centers have much lower per person expenses. Read the data and then the solution which follows.
Medicaid Cost Per Person Served, 1998
(Red States less than half New York's cost)
New York ~ $8,961
New Jersey $6,856
Rhode Island $6,603
Is there less compassion for the poor in California, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, or Washington? No need to reinvent the wheel or waste time drafting new laws and regulations, just copy them from California or Illinois or Michigan or Oregon or Virginia or even, Texas. Watch the Medicaid costs be cut in half, local property taxes fall and state budget be easier to balance.