Gov. Pataki said Tuesday that the White House has assured him it will "make a good faith effort" in the coming week to solve the problem created by President Clinton's line-item veto of New York State's way of paying for Medicaid.
The governor complained during a news conference here that until Tuesday the Clinton administration had done little to keep its promises to help New York.
But he said he spoke on the eve of the visit here with White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, and Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.
His planned meeting with the state's congressional delegation and his news conference about the veto "may have had a role" in spurring the White House to action.
Clinton vetoed legislation that would hold New York State harmless for a method of Medicaid financing, a move that could cost it between $2 billion and $4 billion in federal aid, Pataki said. .
The program allows state health-care vendors to count taxes that vendors pay the state as a federally reimburseable cost.
Complaining that this method was an artificial way of beefing up the state's Medicaid costs, Health and Human Services got Congress to pass a law in 1991 that outlawed such state financing systems.
Pataki's price of settlement is high -- he wants the U.S. to hold the state harmless for all special provider taxes collected since 1991.