Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid Fraud

By:Carl Paladino

Did anyone in the press notice the theater being played out by Andrew Cuomo and Sheldon Silver regarding Medicaid reform. They don’t want the Medicaid spigot turned off. The entitlement people are 99% democrat and they will vote for Cuomo for President. The professionals tell us that the fraud, waste and abuse in Medicaid costs the taxpayers $5 to $10 billion per year. You can apply by phone and there is no longer an asset test, which means that even though you have a million dollars in the bank that you inherited from grandma, if your income is only $25,000/yr you are eligible. Non-residents come to New York everyday to get costly medical procedures and no Liz, we are not 100% higher than the national average in cost per capita, we are 100% higher than the next highest state.

First Cuomo announced a commission to study how we can cut Medicaid costs but he appointed to it mainly stakeholder representatives [where were the county Medicaid representatives who deal with the problems everyday and know where the bodies are hidden?] There was no one on the commission for the taxpayers. Cuomo’s Medicaid guy was the chair. Cuomo then announced in his budget that the commission must find $2.85 billion to balance his budget and solve the deficit. We are the highest cost state in the union in spending and taxes, double the national average. Solving the deficit with smoke and mirrors means we will still suffer the status quo.

The commission asked for suggestions and received many. They had a couple of meetings, generally discussed issues and advised staff {Cuomo’s people} to study and report back on what was achievable. They targeted this past Thursday to next Monday for meetings, vetting issues, discussions, etc. so their report could be submitted on time next week.

They showed up Thursday afternoon and were given 79 recommendations to study and then told to vote to approve all the issues at 4:00. There was no discussion, vetting or transparency. The commission of stakeholders was intimidated into voting for broad-brush recommendations for legislation to allow bureaucrats wide discretion to set out new rules, which may result in cost savings. As stakeholders, they were not about to confront the edict of the commission chair who will be making decisions on their personal issues so they all just put their tails between their legs and went home. Three legislators, apparently having an enlightened moment that they were being used, abstained saying the vote was rushed and they didn’t know what they were voting on. That was as much courage as there would be in Albany on Thursday.

The report only came up with $2.3 billion in vague cuts that a democratic legislator admitted were nebulous at best and certainly not achievable in the first year. Andrew Cuomo has admitted that the $10 billion deficit is a concoction. The real number is much less. Cuomo is playing with words and numbers because he can. The press just wants to hug and cuddle with him and the Republican Senate apparently just can’t find the words. Will they stand tall and pursue spending and tax cuts to save jobs and start to turn the state around? Will they speak up and expose Cuomo’s budget for the fraud that it is?

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