An amendment to the proposed American Health Care Act has convinced Rep. Tom Reed, who represents the Greater Olean area, to support the measure, but Gov. Andrew M Cuomo said the change would be devastating to residents of New York State.
The amendment would prevent the state from requiring county governments to pay for a portion of the state’s share of Medicaid.
“We articulated a very sensible need to change bad state policy that is currently hurting our vulnerable senior homeowners the most,” Reed said in a press release issued Tuesday. “Our message was well received by the White House and after several meetings, it was offered as an amendment.”
Cuomo, speaking at a press conference in Albany on Tuesday, charged that New Yorkers will lose health care services if counties stop contributing to the cost of Medicaid.
“It is cheap politics at best because what the congress people say is, well if the county doesn’t have to pay their share, then the county can reduce taxes,” the governor said. “What they leave out is, if the county doesn’t pay its share, there’s another $2.3 billion cut to Medicaid on top of everything else and that means less people are going to get health care assistance. That means more hospitals, more nursing homes are going to close. That’s what that means. There is no fairy that is going to float down and hand over $2.3 billion to make up the shortfall that the counties lack.”
According to Reed, the amendment was officially included late Monday night and subsequently filed with the Rules Committee. The House of Representatives is expected to vote of the bill Thursday.
The American Health Care Act is intended replace the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted during the Obama administration.