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Medicaid spending will bankrupt state

New York State spends $5,118 per day, per patient in state facilities for the mentally disabled, equivalent to $1.9 million a year per patient. Personal care for the homebound is a New York benefit that includes grocery shopping and housekeeping, and it costs approximately $150,000 per year, per patient. New York State spends more on Medicaid than the two most populous states – California and Texas – combined.

It is no wonder that a House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform is calling for a federal investigation of New York’s Medicaid spending. The committee cited Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s unwillingness to answer inquiries and the dysfunctional performance of the New York Medicaid Inspector General.

This problem will get even worse once Obamacare kicks in during 2014. The health care law encourages states to loosen eligibility rules for Medicaid. Packing the Medicaid rolls is Obamacare’s primary way of dealing with the uninsured. Last summer, a bipartisan State Budget Crisis Task Force, chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, warned states not to go along with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Why didn’t the liberal press inform us of that? It’s too late now for New York.

John Orlowski

Amherst