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Chair Robertson Named to Statewide Commission on Medicaid

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Chair Robertson Named to Statewide Commission on Medicaid

Friday, August 6, 2010
Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson has been appointed by New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) President Thomas Santulli to serve on a special NYSAC Presidential Commission on the State Takeover of Medicaid. The Commission's first meeting will take place Tuesday, August 10 in Albany.

State legislation passed in June requires the New York State Commissioner of Health to report to the Legislature by November 30 with a plan for the state to take over the administrative costs of Medicaid. Under the legislation, the takeover is scheduled to begin April 1, 2011, assuming sufficient state resources are available. In fact, NYSAC believes "the timing is right for a full-blown State takeover of the entire Medicaid program," according to President Santulli. "Medicaid administrative costs represent less than 2% of overall program costs," so the commission will advise the State on what is seen as an essential first step toward a full State takeover of the Medicaid program.

"As 29% of our property tax levy, Medicaid is a huge issue for us and for all New York counties," notes Chair Robertson. "NYSAC must be at the table discussing how the State can assume the financial responsibility for this program, as most states do. I'm very glad that NYSAC is starting this important commission to fight for mandate relief for counties across the state."

The commission includes chief elected officials, county administrators and managers, legislators, and social services and budget officials from across the state.

In a letter to Commission appointees, NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario states, "We do not expect county officials to find the perfect solution, but to highlight the top concerns impacting county finances, service delivery to county residents and general county governance issues."