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Clinton Fights Plans for $15 Billion Cut in Medicaid Spending

By Mark Scott

Washington, DC – US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's fighting a Republican proposal to cut $15 billion in Medicaid funding. Clinton says New York would be especially hard hit, losing nearly $2 billion in funding.

Senator Clinton acknowledges Medicaid reforms are necessary to control costs and improve efficiency. But she says a $15 billion cut does not represent reform. Clinton calls it "a shell game."

"These drastic cuts don't address the underlying problems that contribute to higher costs," Clinton said. "It just shifts the financial burden to states, people with insurance and hospitals and other health care providers."

Clinton says she supports the creation of a bipartisan commission that would recommend ways of reducing costs but without cutting services. She says more than four million New Yorkers depend on Medicaid as their last resort. Clinton says the federal cuts would only make the problems here much worse.

"Our share of Medicaid is split between the state and counties," Clinton said. "Many counties cannot continue to afford their share of Medicaid spending. We need to give them some sensible path to relief."

That's especially true in Erie County, where County Executive Joel Giambra is blaming excessive Medicaid costs for the county's ongoing fiscal problems.