The 2010-11 budget included a provision to shift the administration responsibilities of New York’s Medicaid program from the counties to the State. Now, the State Health Commissioner is required to issue a plan to do so by the end of November.
This change could have a major impact on this vital program, particularly in light of the governor’s race. Whomever is elected this fall will have the main say in many of the Medicaid program changes. While it is likely that the state takeover itself will lead to cost-saving measures regardless of who wins, GOP candidate Carl Paladino has made it clear that he intends to attack the progam with brute force.
Citing cuts to what he calls “gold-plated” options, such as dental care and vision benefits, Mr. Paladino has touted a reduction of $20 billion in Medicaid spending. However, advocates around the state are hard-pressed to find the logic in his reasoning given that the bulk of Medicaid spending lies not in dental care, but in other areas such as reimbursement for long-term care.
Controlling Medicaid costs in a sensible way will require a steady hand and a judicious approach, something which Mr. Paladino has yet to present.
In the spirit of Fridays, Carl Paladino’s approach to healthcare, and dental benefits, this video seemed somehow appropriate for today’s post (no offense to all you wonderful, gentle, and highly needed dentists out there):