Faso amendment included in GOP Senate healthcare bill unveiled Thursday
Jun 23, 2017 12:06 am
Matthew Hamilton reports in Capitol Confidential that the Republican Senate healthcare plan was unveiled June 22, and it includes an amendment from Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook). The amendment shifts $2.3 billion in Medicaid costs from counties to cost the state, and Faso crows that property tax bills would go down. When New York raises taxes in response, though, the poor who don't own homes will get a tax increase without any break elsewhere. On June 21, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said middle class New Yorkers could expect a 26 percent tax increase if the Faso-Collins provision becomes law. "Republicans in New York who voted for the House bill sent a clear message that they'd rather be puppets to ultra conservatives in Washington than protect the nearly three million New Yorkers who will lose their health care coverage because of this bill," Cuomo wrote in an email on June 21. "And now the Senate is ready to double-down on this disaster — despite the fact that the latest polls show only 17 percent of people support the AHCA." Faso is yet to engage Cuomo on the issue since the bill was unveiled, but in March said, "The 'cuts' which Mr. Cuomo suggests are an intentional effort to sow fear among vulnerable populations in our state.... The state has until 2020 to plan for takeover of Medicaid costs from counties and there is ample room in the state budget to cut spending by 1.5 percent to pay its fair share of Medicaid." New York Senator Chuck Schumer also commented on the proposal. "President Trump called the House healthcare bill, 'mean.' The @SenateGOP came out with their plan today. It's not mean. It's meaner." Hours after text of the bill was released, at least four Republican senators announced they would not vote for it as written, enough to block it in that chamber. And also just after the text was released, Cuomo also announced a series of panels about the plan, including a 6 p.m. June 26 panel at the Hudson Opera House, which now calls itself Hudson Hall, at 327 Warren Street. Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.