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Faso-Collins amendment retained in Senate health bill

Erie County Executive Chris Collins talks about budget surplus
Eileen Buckley
Erie County Executive Chris Collins talks about budget surplus

The health care bill unveiled in the U.S. Senate Friday retains provisions that relate to New York's Medicaid program.

Aside from fundamentally changing the structure of Medicaid, the Senate bill also reduces what it sends to states - like New York - that pay a higher amount per person.

A major provision for upstate New York is the so-called Faso-Collins Amendment, retained from the House version. It is named for downstate Congressman John Faso and Clarence Republican Chris Collins.

The amendment would force the state to take on the Medicaid costs of the counties or face a reduction in federal money.

New Yorkcounties pay about 13 percent of the cost of Medicaid. That is more than many states, but the amount the counties pay is capped and does not increase with inflation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says this amendment will cost the state more than $2 billion and force New York to cut services or reduce eligibility.

Almost one third of New Yorkers receive Medicaid. It is a publicly-funded health insurance program for children, low-income adults, the elderly and disabled.

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