Hearing held to discuss healthcare, Medicaid budget

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State lawmakers met in Albany on Wednesday for a healthcare and Medicaid budget hearing.

During Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget presentation, he announced that a Medicaid Redesign Team would be put together to find $2.5 billion in savings.

“The Medicaid system has to be fiscally sustainable, and if it is not financially sustainable, then we accomplish nothing,” he said.

The MRT II will be co-chaired by Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling and labor leader Dennis Rivera. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed frustration over what information is available on it.

“There’s an extremely limited time frame involved here and a huge job and responsibility, and I do have concerns about the necessary transparency and legislative input through the process as well as the participation of consumers and other health advocacy groups,” NYS Sen. James Sewart said.

“What detail do we actually have?” Sen. Gustavo Rivera asked. “For the moment, there is the mention of the MRT. Who are going to be the members of the MRT? Could you tell us today please?”

Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, at this point, the NYS Department of Health is working on that and would get that back to Senator Rivera quickly.

“As they did when they did the first MRT, they’ll get all of the stakeholders who have interest in this will be represented, obviously the legislature as well,” he said.

Senator Rivera asked Commissioner Zucker if he could get a commitment that a MRT report would be available by March 1 for lawmakers to review.

Zucker “did not want to commit to a date or a time” at this point.

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