Cuomo Blasts Amendment to Federal Health Care Bill That Keeps City on Hook to Fund Medicaid

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are denouncing an amendment to the federal health care bill they say would devastate health care and hospitals in New York. Grace Rauh filed the following report.

Republicans in Washington are calling it the Collins amendment. Democrats have labeled it the Buffalo Bribe. 

At the behest of New York Congressmen Chris Collins and John Faso, the Republican health care bill now includes a provision that says New York State counties outside the city will no longer have to contribute to the state's Medicaid bill.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says it's effectively a $2.3 billion cut to the state.

"My greatest fear from last year's election has actually come true," Cuomo said. "You would have a rabid, conservative ideology in Washington that would tell New York to drop dead."

The amendment was inserted into the health care bill to entice Republicans from the Empire State to back it. It only affects New York. At a news conference in his Midtown Office, Cuomo took aim at the House members behind it.

"They have sworn allegiance to Ryan and the radical right. And they are going adhere to that allegiance despite the cost to the people in their district," Cuomo said.

The amendment would pave the way for property tax cuts outside the city. The governor, though, says it will also jeopardize the state's health care system and its hospitals.

Mayor Bill de Blasio attacked the amendment as well.

"It's very dangerous for all of New York State and for New York City as well," de Blasio said. "It would lead to a massive cutback in support for our hospitals and health care overall.

Given the support for the amendment from House Republicans in New York, it is unclear whether Cuomo's opposition will make any difference. 

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