© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CNY county officials rail against proposed Medicaid funding plan

Jim Bowen

With just a few weeks left before the New York state budget deadline, some county officials are still worried about losing Medicaid funds.

When Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed 2024 state budget was released, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon expressed his distaste for the Medicaid funding plan included. Now, as the April 1 deadline creeps closer, McMahon questioned why county governments are being asked to hold the burden.

“In this state budget, it’s the largest state budget they’ve ever had, yet the only people being asked to sacrifice are county governments?” McMahon said.

The proposed plan would divert an estimated $626 million in Medicaid funding from local counties into state coffers. Onondaga County could lose around $11 million as a result of what McMahon is calling an “insane proposal.”

“It’s an insane proposal and it really needs to be corrected,” McMahon said.

Oswego County could also face challenges should the proposal pass. Oswego County Administrator Philip Church said the burden will fall on property taxpayers and New York is the only state asking for that.

“New York is the only one insisting on putting this much of a burden on local property owners to fund Medicaid,” Church said.

With annual property tax caps, there is only so much counties will be able to do to stay afloat. Both McMahon and Church say that the loss in Medicaid funds would mean cuts in other projects and initiatives.

“What it means long term is that other key priorities and initiatives will likely get cut,” McMahon said.

Church said counties across the state are working to oppose the proposal.

“All counties around the state, regardless of party, are actively opposing this, making our opinions known, making not just opinions, facts about what will happen known,” Church said.

Church added that the policy in place is not sustainable.

“The counties in New York state contribute more to the Medicaid program than all other counties in the entire country combined,” Church said. “That’s just an unsustainable model and poor public policy.”

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.