With Time Running Out, More Sparring On Exchange Bill
Crain’s Health Pulse March 14, 2012
AARP ramped up its lobbying to get health exchange legislation passed in New York. On Friday, the senior citizens group robo called New Yorkers with a message that blasted the state Senate, which it said “has failed to act on this important” issue, and asked AARP members to call their senator to support an exchange. “We’re reaching out to members now, given this budget issue has to be resolved in the next two weeks,” said an AARP spokesman.
Separately, Health Care for All New York sent a seven-page letter to senators last week that sought to correct “common misconceptions” about creating an exchange in New York that were an excuse for inaction. HCFANY’s stand is that New York must pass exchange legislation now, or it will default to a federally run exchange if it can’t demonstrate readiness for certification by HHS on Jan. 1, 2013.
HCFANY’s letter is in response to a communication sent last month by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos to Senate Minority Leader John Sampson (Pulse, March 8). That letter made several assertions about both exchange legislation and the federal health reform law that HCFANY labeled “inaccurate.” For example, the Senate Republicans have said that Federal health reforms could cost New York taxpayers more than $65 billion in Medicaid costs. In reality, said HCFANY, the state will get an $18 billion net gain in Medicaid revenue.
It’s a point that Mr. Sampson also made last week in his reply to Sen. Skelos. “The $65 billion figure you cite comes from a report by the conservative-leaning Cato Institute, which fails to acknowledge that because New York already offers coverage to certain expanded populations it is due to receive enhanced reimbursements once the law is implemented,” he wrote.
Go to hcfany.org to see HCFANY’s discussion of exchange myths.