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BCW Joins Coalition to Urge Governor to Oppose New Tax to Fund Medicaid

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A Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) that has been tasked by Governor Cuomo to find new sources of revenue to fund shortfalls in Medicaid funding, should concentrate instead on cutting costs, according to a coalition of business groups.

The BCW and other business groups from across New York State have written to Governor Cuomo to urge him not to approve recommendations for new fees or taxes.

“While we recognize the current challenge the state faces in addressing the Medicaid deficit, the MRT should focus exclusively on reforming and controlling costs in the Medicaid program, not adding more revenue from the privately insured,” the letter stated.

John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and COO of the Business Council of Westchester, said that this is one of the messages that the BCW will take to Albany on Tuesday when it heads to the Capitol for its Annual Lobby Day.

“New or increased taxes on the privately insured to close the funding shortfall in the Medicaid program is not the answer,’’ said Ravitz. “The BCW has been very vocal on the subject of not adding to the cost of health insurance for New York businesses and the individuals they employ.’’

New York currently collects more than $5 billion dollars annually through various taxes, surcharges and assessments on health insurance, representing the third largest source of state revenue behind the sales and income taxes. These taxes apply to every entity providing coverage including employers, union benefit funds, and the more than 250,000 consumers in the individual market, and amount to well over $1,000 per premiums for the average family receiving health care coverage in New York.

Other coalition members signing the letter sent on January 30 were:  The Business Council of New York State; Big I New York; Capital Region Chamber; Greater Binghamton Chamber; Unshackle Upstate; New York Health Plan Association; Buffalo-Niagara Partnership; National Federation of Independent Businesses-NY ; Rockland Business Association; Northeast Dairy Foods Association; Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care; New York State Association of Health Underwriters and New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

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