Congressman Chris Collins’ Medicaid Local Share Limitation Proposal Receives Enthusiastic Support from NY-27 County Officials
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today joined with Erie and Niagara County officials to express support for a proposed amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The Medicaid Local Share Limitation proposal, which was introduced by Congressman Collins, would bar federal reimbursements for state Medicaid funds raised from local governments. New York State currently raises $7 billion from its counties, which is the largest amount in the nation, to fund its $27 billion Medicaid liability. This amendment would apply to the $2.3 billion being raised from counties outside of New York City, which is absolutely critical for Western New York.
“Year after year, Albany’s leadership relies on counties to foot the bill for New York State’s out-of-control Medicaid costs,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “Enough is enough. My common sense proposal will keep New York accountable for their Medicaid spending, and help counties lower their property taxes on hardworking families. We understand the devastating impact New York’s reckless spending is having on Western New Yorkers, and I’m proud to join with our county legislators to fight for this legislation.”
On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, Congressman Collins introduced his Medicaid Local Share Limitation proposal in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Since its introduction, county officials throughout New York’s 27th Congressional District have come out in support of the Congressman’s amendment.
“As Congressman Collins knows, almost all of our property tax collections in Erie County go toward paying our Medicaid bill,” said Hon. Stefan I. Mychajliw, Erie County Comptroller. “The relief from this albatross of an unfunded mandate should be given to the people that have been unfairly paying the bill, the taxpayers of Erie County. That being said, I would like to see a portion of this relief directed toward repairing our crumbling infrastructure, improving our parks and fixing our roads and bridges.”
“I commend Congressman Collins for putting forth this amendment that would provide much needed mandate relief for local counties,” said Erie County Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga). “Unfunded mandates such as Medicaid make up the largest portion of our county budget placing immense pressure on our ability to provide the services our residents expect and deserve at a reasonable cost. This amendment will allow us to be able to provide much needed tax relief to our constituents and provide more funds to improving our aging infrastructure.”
Niagara County Manager Richard E. Updegrove said, “State-mandated local Medicaid spending accounts for three out of every five county property tax dollars collected from our taxpayers. In the absence of a residency requirement, Niagara County taxpayers even subsidize Medicaid expense for people who do not reside in Niagara County. If the Collins Amendment is adopted, in the absence of any new unfunded mandates, our county taxpayers will realize a significant decrease in their property tax bill.”
By incentivizing New York State to stop passing down Medicaid costs to counties, county governments will be provided desperately needed flexibility in how they utilize their property tax revenue. The amendment would not apply to large municipalities with populations over 5,000,000 that collet income tax, particularly New York City, or states that use the county funds for administrative costs.
Currently, New York State ranks second highest in the nation in both Medicaid spending per year ($60 billion) and spending per Medicaid beneficiary (44% more than the national average). In addition, while New York State accounts for only 6% of the national population, New York accounts for 11% of total Medicaid spending. The outsized portion of the Medicaid burden counties are being forced to pay is creating significant financial hardship.
The following outlines the FY16 Medicaid liability for NY-27 counties:
- Erie: $203,699,556— (82.8% of the property tax levy)
- Niagara: $44,152,519— (59.0% of the property tax levy)
- Orleans: $8,074,102— (49.8% of the property tax levy)
- Wyoming: $5,321,747— (25.7% of the property tax levy)
- Livingston: $9,064,064— (34.1% of the property tax levy)
- Ontario: $16,033,295— (30.2% of the property tax levy)
- Monroe: $175,851,749— (48.6% of the property tax levy)
- Genesee: $9,403,509— (35% of the property tax levy)
- NYS Total: ~$2.2 billion— (44.3% of the county property tax levy)
Congressman Collins withdrew his amendment in Committee and is currently working with House Leadership, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the New York GOP Congressional Delegation to move this policy forward in the final draft of the American Health Care Act (AHCA).