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State Legislature approves emergency bill that cuts healthcare spending

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By WBFO News

Albany, NY – State lawmakers Monday approved an emergency spending bill that includes about $775 million in health care cuts. The bill cuts state reimbursements for treating medicade patients as well as funding for many public health programs.

For the first time, Republican Assemblyman Jack Quinn, III, of Hamburg voted for the budget extender because of the spending cuts it included.

"This certainly will be an ugly process that may be painful to some localities, but the fact remains that we can no longer afford to spend beyond our means," Quinn siad. "Furthermore, I truly believe this emergency spending bill will serve as segue to a fiscally-responsible 2010-2011 budget agreement."

But healthcare advocates are outraged.

"The awful and simple truth about these cuts is that they will harm patients and the health care workers who care for them, as well as the institutions we have looked to for the preservation of our health and economy," said Daniel Sisto, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State.

This is the tenth bill that extends state spending and keeps the government operational. If lawmakers fail to come up with a budget, Paterson is threatening to force through education cuts in his next emergency bill.

The state budget is now 68 days late.