Carmel NY – Last week, Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne joined County Executives from across the state along with New York City Mayor Eric Adams in sending a letter opposing Governor Kathy Hochul’s plan to stop sharing federal Medicaid dollars with local governments. Details of her proposal were revealed in the Governor’s 2024 Executive Budget Proposal, in which she restructures the method by which Affordable Care Act (ACA) enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Program (eFMAP) dollars are shared with localities. Byrne expressed his own strong opposition to the proposal because of the direct fiscal impact it would have on Putnam County’s residents.
“Governor Hochul’s proposal to stop sharing federal Medicaid dollars with Putnam County is simply unacceptable,” said County Executive Byrne. “In New York, it is our county governments that administer services our most vulnerable residents rely on. Governor Hochul wants to siphon away more than $1.2 million from Putnam County that directly assists safety net programs, keep it for her own frivolous projects, and force local property taxes to increase.”
If enacted in the State’s 2024 budget, this would be a significant break from a 20-year history of sharing federal Medicaid dollars with counties and threaten to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars to county governments across New York. In most other states, social safety net services are paid for entirely by federal and state governments. In New York, state mandates associated with the Medicaid program exceed federal mandates increasing costs of services administered and paid for, in part, by local property tax dollars. Changing the federal Medicaid formula would increase this burden, forcing counties across the state to find other sources of revenue, including property tax increases, or cuts to “non-essential” services, to fund these programs.
Byrne continued, “I urge our state legislators to join county leaders in opposition to this proposal and look forward to working with my former colleagues in the legislature to propose a new budget plan.” Prior to serving as Putnam County Executive, Byrne was the ranking member of the Assembly’s Health Committee, a member of the Way & Means Committee and member of New York State’s Council on Health Care Financing.
For more information see attached letter sent to Gov. Hochul from New York State County Executives Association.
For further background information on this developing issue see story from Spectrum news below