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New York faces challenges with aging population and Medicaid costs

New York State is grappling with the growing needs of its aging population, as 25% of its residents are expected to be 60 or older by 2030. This demographic shift coincides with a Medicaid budget that has expanded by 40% in the past three years. Governor Kathy Hochul, addressing the state’s budget gap, announced potential cuts to long-term care services and home care, crucial for older New Yorkers.

However, lawmakers are exploring alternatives to these cuts. Senate Health Committee Chair Senator Gustavo Rivera opposes reductions in services, emphasizing the need to stabilize the system. He introduced the “Home Care Savings & Reinvestment Act,” which proposes redirecting funds from Managed Long Term Care plans (MLTCs) back to state-managed home care services. Rivera criticizes MLTCs as a “failed experiment” and unnecessary middlemen, suggesting that eliminating them could save the state up to $2 billion annually.

The bill, also sponsored in the Assembly by Health Committee Chair Amy Paulin, has sparked debate. While Rivera views MLTCs as costly intermediaries, proponents like Diana Gelfand, Chief Clinical Officer at Elderplan/HomeFirst, defend their role, highlighting their contributions to innovative care solutions. The discussion reflects a broader challenge facing New York: balancing fiscal responsibilities with the growing demands of an aging population.

Categories: New York StateNews