January 28, 2014
By Stephanie West
Governor Cuomo, New York City Mayor de Blasio and State legislators are demanding that the federal government approve New York State’s $10 billion Medicaid waiver. The waiver request, which was originally submitted in 2012, would allow the State to reinvest significant Medicaid savings toward transforming New York’s healthcare delivery system with a focus on primary and preventative care while also minimizing unnecessary hospital admission.
After Governor Cuomo raised the issue of the long overdue waiver in his Executive Budget address last week, the State received a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which failed to give approval to New York’s application.
“For 18 months, New Yorkers have been waiting on the federal government for one clear statement: your $10 billion Medicaid waiver is approved,” Governor Cuomo said. “While other states were given approval in just a few months, New York is still waiting and hospitals in Brooklyn will close if we wait any longer. This is an issue Mayor de Blasio brought into focus during his campaign and I am pleased to have him join us and the Brooklyn delegation in the fight to save our hospitals.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “We are doing everything in our power to protect health care in neighborhoods across New York City, but we need the federal government to help. The billions of dollars rightly sought by Governor Cuomo would jumpstart the transformation of our safety-net hospitals, and bring them into the 21st century. New York City stands with Governor Cuomo and State Legislators in urging our federal partner to make this critical investment to protect community health care.”
Under Governor Cuomo, New York State’s healthcare system has experienced reform. The Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team identified savings of $34 billion in New York’s Medicaid system while also managing to add 500,000 people to the program. With the federal government’s Medicaid waiver approval, New York State would be able to reinvest its portion of these savings toward improvements in the state’s healthcare delivery system.