Gov’s decision re: emergency enhanced FMAP funds

April 2, 2023

Medicaid funding

Long before coronavirus, the state had a multibillion-dollar funding shortfall to deal with thanks to the state Medicaid program. Cuomo’s proposed solution was to appoint a Medicaid Redesign Team (somewhat stacked with political allies) to figure out the details of finding $2.5 billion in savings. Cuomo now wanted to stick with the findings of the MRT, which were released on March 19, even though that would mean forgoing more than $6.7 billion in federal aid that is contingent on states refraining from changing their Medicaid programs. 

In the end, Cuomo decided not to reject the emergency federal funding in order to enact his Medicaid reforms. Although the final budget language adopts most of the recommendations from his commission, it’s not happening all at once. Any changes that may disqualify the state from federal aid will be implemented with a time delay, after the state no longer is receiving the emergency Medicaid dollars.

Lawmakers and activists have criticized the MRT recommendations and the idea of cutting aid to hospitals during the ongoing pandemic. But the limited time meant that the recommendations are the basis of negotiations, with lawmakers aiming to either accept, reject or modify them, according to Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried.