Monday, May 25, 2009

NY State Medicaid: Preview of Things To Come

When it comes to expanding government-subsidized coverage, broke and recession-battered New York state has already gotten a jump on him…Medicaid-enrollment growth in New York is accelerating so rapidly that one out of every four state residents will be in the program by 2013…Universal-health-care advocates no doubt welcome that prospect -- but it should concern taxpayers….How New York Stokes Dependency, EJ McMahon, The NY Post, 5/22/2009

Taxpayers already are. The great untold story in the tax fight, though anyone directly involved knows it, is local taxes. State and local income taxes in New York now take almost 11% of income. Property taxes are such that in wealthier counties like Westchester and Nassau, retired persons routinely plan to immediately leave the state when they leave their jobs. Despite paid-for houses, and a modestly good retirement package, they could not possibly pay the fabulous level of property taxes in these counties. Taxpayer flight to Florida and Arizona is not solely because of the warm weather. New York’s Medicaid costs per patient, nearly double those of California, a state not known for poor medical care, take a huge proportion of these taxes. Worse, if you want to qualify for Medicaid, you must first get rid of assets in excess of $100,000 (excluding domicile). If you’re paying $15,000 a year in property taxes, what’s left when you do a Medicaid asset burn isn’t enough to live on for more than a few years. One would think that, in response, major efforts would be undertaken to reduce medical costs. Instead, however, even richer contracts are negotiated with the principal union in medical care, and taxes are raised even higher. This is a recipe for disaster, and New York is already meeting its mandated balanced budget requirement with money given by the Feds under the Stimulus package. With taxpayer flight, and, increasingly, productive enterprise flight (with Obama’s national view of taxation, this may mean relocating to another country), New York’s future is a socialist’s dream, and a citizen’s nightmare. Watch how it goes here; it will go that way everywhere soon without serious, committed political and legal action.


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