N.Y. Medicaid program must be reformed, lieutenant governor warns

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 11, 2010

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New York's Medicaid program will have difficulty meeting obligations the national health reform law placed on it without significant reforms, according to a Sept. 20 proposal by New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch.

Ravitch has called for a new administrative body -- instead of legislation -- to set Medicaid rates, especially for long-term and institutional care. He recommended adopting medical liability reforms and centralizing control of Medicaid rates at the state level instead of the county level, which would require the New York Legislature's approval.

At the request of outgoing Gov. David Paterson, Ravitch has spent months crafting fiscal reform proposals for New York, which faces a budget deficit of at least $10 billion. Medicaid is the state's single-largest general fund expense, accounting for more than one-third of the state budget. And the cost is growing by 7% annually.

The proposal is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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