Shipley encouraged, skeptical about Medicaid reform

Seneca County pays more than $111,000 per week for its share of the federal Medicaid program. That equals about 60 percent of the county’s 2018 tax levy, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Shipley.

Speaking at the March 13 board meeting, Shipley, R-Waterloo, cited the Assembly Minority Conference March 12 unveiling of a plan to restructure Medicaid with a phased-in, 10-year state takeover of the local share of it.

Medicaid is a federally mandated health care program for the poor and disabled where the federal government pays 50 percent of the cost to run the program and states pay the other 50 percent. In New York, the state pays 25 percent and the counties pay 25 percent to make up the local share.

“New York state, over the years, has greatly expanded the program package of services such that the total Medicaid yearly program costs now exceeds $8.2 billion a year, the largest Medicaid program in the country,” Shipley said.

The Republican minority proposal would have the state take over the entire local share or 50 percent of the total, phased in over 10 years.

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