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Strong words and resolve from Allegany County Legislature after NY State swipes federal aid

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Allegany County Chairman Condemns Medicaid Funding Takeback: “It’s not the state’s money”

Loss of funding to cost local taxpayers over $1 million

The Allegany County Legislature passed a resolution on February 8 in opposition to a proposal within Governor Hochul’s State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024 Executive Budget.

The Resolution addresses Hochul’s plan to withhold federal Medicaid funding from counties. The Enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (eFMAP) was created in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Its intent was to assist county governments with the burdensome local share of Medicaid costs.

Board Chairman W. Brooke Harris emphasized the significance of the hardship on taxpayers. “In the last five years, this is probably the single most fiscally damaging executive budget item for our county taxpayers. By various estimates, the cost to (Allegany County) taxpayers is going to be between $1.2 and $1.5 million dollars annually.

“It’s not the State’s money,” Harris said. “We get accustomed to the state withholding its own money, but we get particularly frustrated when the State withholds federal money that was, by all accounts, fully intended to be shared with the counties to support the local share of Medicaid costs.”

The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) estimates the statewide cost to local taxpayers to exceed $1 billion. In a statement addressing the Governor’s Executive Budget, NYSAC President Michael E. Zurlo stated, “At a time when New York is facing an affordability crisis, the last thing the Governor should do is burden local taxpayers with more costs that will drive up the cost of homeownership and rent, increase business expenses, and make New York more unaffordable.”

“Not only does this proposal harm New York’s local taxpayers,” he continued, “but it also subverts Congress’ intent that eFMAP be shared with local governments that contribute to the Medicaid program.”

Allegany County Legislator Janice Burdick (District V, Alfred), urged taxpayers to contact their State representatives. “This is a very important resolution,” Burdick stated. “I encourage anyone listening and all our residents to contact their (elected officials) and ask them for any help getting this passed.”

The SFY 2024 Executive Budget is currently in the “30-Day Amendments” phase, during which the Governor may make unrestricted changes to the Executive Budget. After that time, any alterations require approval of the State Legislature.

Harris explained the importance of quick action in opposition to the proposal. “Now is the time to correct this proposal. We urge the Governor to amend the budget and continue remitting eFMAP funding to counties in 2024. If she’s unwilling, we urge the State Legislature to serve their constituents well and protect the interests of local taxpayers.”

Read the full resolution:

RESOLUTION URGING THE NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE TO AMEND GOVERNOR HOCHUL’S SFY 2024 EXECUTIVE BUDGET TO CONTINUE REMITTANCE OF THE ENHANCED FEDERAL MEDICAID MATCHING PERCENTAGE (eFMAP) TO ALLEGANY COUNTY

Offered by: Ways & Means Committee

WHEREAS, the funding to support the Medicaid program is provided by a combination of federal, state, and local resources, and

WHEREAS, New York State requires that its 57 counties and New York City contribute

$6.474 billion annually to pay for this federal and state-defined and controlled program, and

WHEREAS, in 2022, Allegany County contributed $8,636,551 in local dollars toward the implementation of the Medicaid program, and

WHEREAS, this large local funding share for Medicaid and other state programs is a major contributor to New York State’s high local tax burden compared to other states in the country, and

WHEREAS, the Federal government has provided an enhanced Medicaid matching share (eFMAP), which has saved New York State billions of dollars, and

WHEREAS, New York State is required under federal law to share these savings with its 57 counties and New York City since 2015-2016, resulting in at least $1,411,861 in eFMAP funds currently owed to Allegany County, and

WHEREAS, Governor Hochul’s SFY 2024 Budget proposes to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (eFMAP) federal pass-through to its 57 counties and New York City, and

WHEREAS, it continues to be the strong position of both Allegany County and the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) that Congress intended for these federal savings to be shared with the counties proportional to the amount they contributed toward the non­ federal Medicaid match, and

WHEREAS, Allegany County estimates that the elimination of the pass-through of the ACA eFMAP funds by New York State would have a negative fiscal impact of $918,254, which would create an undue and excessive hardship for Allegany County taxpayers, and

WHEREAS, Allegany County anticipates the elimination of COVID-related eFMAP funding in August 2023, resulting in a total loss of $964,116 annually, andWHEREAS, NYSAC estimates that the statewide impact on the 57 counties and New York City would exceed $1 billion; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED:

  1. That the Allegany County Board of Legislators urges the New York State Legislature to amend Governor Hochul’s SFY 2024 Budget to continue remittance of the Enhanced Federal Medicaid Matching Percentage (eFMAP) to Allegany County.
  • That the Allegany County Board of Legislators urges New York State to complete Enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (eFMAP) reconciliations that are seven years overdue, and immediately release the federal funds owed to Allegany County.
  • That the Clerk of the Allegany County Board of Legislators shall forward copies of this resolution to Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Minority Leader Robert G. Ortt, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, Assembly Minority Leader William A. Barclay, Senator George M. Borrello, Senator Thomas F. O’Mara, Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio, the New York State Association of Counties, and the Inter-County Association of Western New York.
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