Rep. Claudia L. Tenney is applauding the insertion of a special provision in the Republican health care bill that would shift Medicaid costs from New York’s counties to the state government.

The provision could save county governments outside of New York City $2.3 billion a year. Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, enthusiastically endorsed the amendment at a news conference Monday morning — before it was added to the GOP replacement for Obamacare. She argued the amendment will lead to property tax relief for constituents.

By Monday night the deed was done and the congresswoman was pleased.

“I am honored to have worked closely alongside the New York Republican congressional delegation to advance this long overdue initiative to provide historic property tax relief for citizens throughout upstate New York,” said Tenney, who was a state legislator until her election to Congress in November. “For too long, local governments have struggled under costly unfunded mandates passed down by out-of-touch politicians in Albany.”

The amendment was proposed by Reps. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, and Chris Collins, R-Erie County.

Five members of the New York congressional, including Tenney, issued a statement Tuesday morning endorsing the inclusion of the Medicaid Local Share Limitation proposal in the manager’s amendment to the American Health Care Act.

Gov. Anrdew M. Cuomo quickly slammed the Medicaid measure.

“The more we learn about the repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act, the sicker New York gets,” he said Monday night.

Later in his statement he specifically addressed the Medicaid amendment.

“Congressmen Collins and Faso are calling their amendment a ‘tax savings plan for the county.’ Really it’s a deathtrap as there is no way to make up the shortfall,” the governor said. “The upstate New York and Long Island economy will falter or collapse if the health sector is damaged.”

The Medicaid amendment is one of several changes made to the bill as House Republican leaders seek to win more votes for the legislation. A House vote on the final legislation could come as soon as Thursday.

Meanwhile, AARP asserts the GOP’s American Health Care Act could hurt more than 60,000 residents in Tenney’s congressional district and is urging her to vote against it. The advocacy group for senior citizens has joined a number of organizations representing doctors and health care systems in saying the Republican plan will hike health insurance premiums, reduce tax credits, reduce or eliminate coverage and services for the neediest, and weaken Medicare for all current and future seniors.



March 21, 2017