State funding for Roswell Park would remain stable at $103 million - The Buffalo News

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State funding for Roswell Park would remain stable at $103 million

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday proposed keeping Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s state funding stable during the next fiscal year.

Cuomo’s proposed state budget includes $103 million in state support for the comprehensive cancer center.

The proposed Roswell Park funding includes “local assistance funds” to replace an expiring $25 million capital grant to the institute.

Roswell Park received $102.6 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year, accounting for about 16.5 percent of its $623 million operating budget.

“The funding provided in the governor’s budget proposal represents a continued commitment to the strength and vitality of our Institute,” Dr. Donald L. Trump, president and CEO, said in a statement.

“New York State has clearly recognized the importance of Roswell Park being the only comprehensive cancer center in upstate New York designated by the National Cancer Institute,” he said.

Indeed, the budget proposal comes as good news, considering that in 2012 Cuomo proposed making the cancer center “operationally independent.”

That proposal would have ended Roswell Park’s state subsidy.

The budget document did not offer details about the local assistance funds to replace the expiring $25 million state HEAL NY program grant that comprised part of the overall state support for the cancer center. But a Roswell Park official said the replacement funds would likely come from Health Care Reform Act funds.

Other health-related items in the governor’s proposed budget include:

• A $1.2 billion capital program to support projects improving the financial stability and increasing efficiency of hospitals and other health care providers. The spending plan also calls for expanded access to other forms of capital by encouraging private equity investments.

• Eleven regional health improvement collaboratives to do health planning at a cost of $7 million in 2014-15 and growing to $16 million by 2015-16.

• A Basic Health Program as part of the Affordable Care Act, for adults whose incomes are between 138 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level and for legal immigrants up to 200 percent of the poverty level.

These individuals have incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford health insurance premiums, according to Health Care for All New York, an advocacy group that issued a statement in support of the proposal.

• Plans to move ahead with Medicaid reforms, assuming the federal government approves the state’s $10 billion waiver to exempt it from certain federal program requirements.

The governor’s budget proposal includes some “important, positive and much-needed” investments in health care, including the push for federal approval of the Medicaid waiver, critical for providers all across the state, said Dennis P. Whalen, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, which represents many hospitals in the state.


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