More on Budget, Health Care

Albany Times Union – North Country Health Reform – Oped

Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics, twice. Ticonderoga saw a great battle involving the French and the Indians. And Warrensburg?

That’s where the first river drive took place, floating logs to mills to harvest the bark. Hemlock bark, it turns out, is perfect for tanning animal hides.

For these small Adirondack towns and a couple dozen others, the Next Big Thing may be the coming of health reform, a test for making our health care more effective and more affordable.

The Journal News (Westchester) – Lawmakers to restore many healthcare cuts

ALBANY – More than half of the cuts Gov. David Paterson proposed in state support for health-care services will be restored by the Legislature, according to budget documents made public today.

Overall, lawmakers plan to restore almost 70 percent of the $738 million Paterson proposed cutting in support to hospitals and 43 percent of the $335.6 million he planned in reductions in support to nursing homes. Lawmakers also plan to restore 73 percent of planned cuts to pharmacies and 60 percent of home-care reductions.

Crain’s Health Pulse – Hospitals in disbelief over budget cuts (no link)

It became clear late Friday that the Paterson administration and the Legislature had no intention of using more FMAP money to ease health care cuts. Some estimates pegged the share of available FMAP funds ultimately going to health care at less than 2%.

Hospitals hoped that certain cuts would be restored over the weekend, but it appears as if they’re going to take a $420 million hit in this budget. Some, including New York-Presbyterian, face cuts of at least $20 million.

The proposed budget creates a complex arrangement of four or five special pools meant to even up losses among hospitals. But lobbyists see the pools as merely propping up hospitals hurt most by the reform.

As of Friday, the hospital industry seemed destined to come up far short of its budget goals on multiple fronts. Particularly disappointing is the apparent fate of the FMAP money—funds hospitals helped lobby for in Washington.

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