Reader Loftus sends along this link from the WSJ concerning New York State’s latest budget deficit (2.7 billion, 2X that admitted to last week by gun runner Cuomo) and the money New York spends on Medicare.
Health-care officials in Washington and New York are negotiating a plan that would squeeze between $800 million and $1.1 billion out of federal Medicaid spending, potentially blowing a new hole in the annual budget Mr. Cuomo proposed on Tuesday. Much of that money is for the care of about 1,300 developmentally disabled people in nine state-run centers from Staten Island to Rochester, which get about $2 million a year from the federal government for each patient.
The state and federal government agreed on the program’s pricing methodology in 1990, but a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspector general probe in 2012 found that the amount was excessive. The state has used some of the money each year for general spending, and a Republican-led congressional oversight panel accused New York of “fraud” last year, overcharging Medicaid $15 billion over two decades. New York officials have said the panel’s conclusions were wrong but are negotiating a new pricing system.
New York’s Medicaid program is the nation’s most expensive, slated to spend more than $54 billion in the current fiscal year on the state’s poor and disabled. Mr. Cuomo’s proposed budget would increase that spending to almost $58 billion—a mix of federal, state and county dollars.
One of the most expensive parts of the program pays for the severely disabled to live in state-run “developmental centers.” One is in Brooklyn and two in Queens. The patients—whose diagnoses include severe autism, cerebral palsy and other disorders—live at the centers and receive round-the-clock assistance and training, intensive clinical and direct-care services and therapy.
Loftus suggests that Greenwich buy up unwanted back country mansions and provide the same services for $1 million per patient: we’d clear up the housing inventory and make a killing. Speaking of which, why not transfer the Nathaniel Witherell oldsters there too?