Thursday, November 30, 2006

Spitzer, Berger see more health cuts coming

Gannett News Service Jay Gallagher

"ALBANY _ The plan to cut to the state's health-care system proposed this week, while called harsh my some union leaders and hospital executives, represents merely a start on reductions that need to be made, the chairman of the commission that recommended the cuts said in an interview Thursday.Later, Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer disclosed that the savings from the plan to state taxpayers from the proposed closings is likely to be minimal. He reiterated that the "bloated system'' needs to be further cut."

"The cuts recommended by the commission, while reducing spending by about $800 million overall, will save only about $250 million in Medicaid costs, Spitzer said, with the rest going to the federal government and private insurers. Medicaid is the health-insurance plan for poor people that the federal government pays half of. The state pays just over one-third and local governments about 16 percent.So the state savings from the plan could be less than $100 million.That's a relative drop in the bucket for the $46 billion program, the most expensive of any state's."

"Spitzer has said that far more needs to be cut to help pay for other spending in the state budget, including more cash for schools and a tax cut.'

Jay did a great job putting this story together... click here for the rest.......andy

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