Medicaid consumer advocates reject the Governor’s claims about the current Medicaid budget situation. Instead, Medicaid Matters will be measuring budget discussions based on the following:

• The seating of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT II) – which is not representative of the New Yorkers served by Medicaid – with the sole purpose of cutting Medicaid to find billions of dollars in this year’s budget is irresponsible and robs democracy from the budget process.
• The notion that we have a Medicaid deficit is false. Medicaid spending has exceeded the global spending cap, which is outdated and does not account for the program we now have. The global cap must be reconsidered.
• New Yorkers need a Medicaid budget that realistically pays for the services that keep people well, living independently in their homes, and free from economic ruin.
• There are resources to pay for Medicaid and other vital services. Our state leaders must have the courage to raise revenue, rather than accepting austerity.
• Community-based long term services and supports save money. The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, personal care, and home care must be preserved. The Olmstead decision demands it.
• Shifting Medicaid costs back to counties, including New York City, exacerbates inequities and has the potential to harm consumers. It moves Medicaid financing in the wrong direction and should be rejected.
• The State spends billions of dollars on contracts that provide eligibility and enrollment services by a large corporate entity. Those contracts must be reexamined, and we need new oversight controls on large corporations that work on the State’s behalf.

New York needs a transparent process that includes meaningful engagement of consumers and advocates and reasonable negotiations between the Executive and Legislature. And above all, we must all remember why Medicaid matters the most: to provide for the millions of New Yorkers who rely on it every day.

PDF available here.