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Letter: The cost of Medicaid has to be controlled

The cost of Medicaid has to be controlled

Sometimes I wonder what some of our politicians would be doing, if they weren’t politicians. “Do you want fries with your burger, sir?” Recent articles concerning the Collins-Faso amendment to the proposed health care law have brought my attention to the question: “What are these people thinking?”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in a rage over the fact that counties would no longer be responsible for a percentage of the Medicaid cost (over 90 percent of county property taxes go to Medicaid). According to our governor, this will cost New York State $2.3 billion annually. In “lawyer speak” he is absolutely correct; in “regular people” speak, not so correct.

Cuomo must believe that local taxes are paid for by the tooth fairy. Unfunded mandates, such as the county contribution to Medicaid, make the Albany politicians look good, while increasing the local taxes paid by New York State residents. A resident’s total taxes will not be affected by the state taking over Medicaid. The state will just become responsible for the health care bill it generates and maybe try to control costs. The state could withhold its contributions to school taxes or to museums to make up for the shortfall. But is getting more control over how our schools are run such a bad thing?

Medicaid is a great program. However, as an individual, if your salary goes up 2 percent a year, but the cost of food increases 5 to 10 percent a year, how long can this continue? The situation is unsustainable. Ultimately, the costs must be controlled.

Fred Oddi

Orchard Park

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