January 7, 2004

County pushing back on Medicaid

The Elmira Star-Gazette has an article on a press conference in Elmira yesterday including leaders of Tompkins, Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, Broome, Tioga, and "several other" counties. The press conference comes in advance of Governor Pataki's "State of the State" speech, and asked for some specific fixes:

Long-term relief will have to come in a multiyear plan that could include prescribing only generic drugs, creating a prescription drug list and capping Medicaid costs for the counties at 2003 levels and having the state assume the remaining 10 percent of the local share of costs for long-term care, Santulli said.

The forecast Tim Joseph presented for Tompkins County was pretty grim:

Tim Joseph, chairman of the Tompkins County Legislature, said that if costs continue to spiral, his county could survive only five more years without relief before going bankrupt.
Joseph worries that Medicaid reform will come at the cost of other unfunded state mandates that are eating up the revenues counties generate through sales and property tax.
"If we see Medicaid get under control and everything else get out of control, we haven't gained anything," he said.

Unfortunately, the Star-Gazette, unlike the Ithaca Journal, doesn't archive its articles so the link to the story will break in a week. There is a Tompkins County press release about the overall message and its delivery, however, and the Ithaca Journal has an editorial on the subject today.

(I grew up in Corning, so I read the Ithaca, Corning, and Elmira papers regularly. Sometimes I read Binghamton and Auburn as well.)

Posted by simon at January 7, 2004 11:26 AM in , ,
Note on photos