Yesterday, Bloomberg called health-care reform — the biggest policy initiative of his good buddy President Obama — a “disgrace” for its unfair penalties against New York. Meanwhile, Governor Paterson claimed that New Yorkers were “being punished for our own charity.” So what has them so steamed? The bill denies extra Medicaid funding to New York — which will continue to cover half its Medicaid costs — while “most other states will get 100% federal aid for three years and 82% to 95% thereafter,” according to the Daily News. This lack of assistance would cost the state over $1 billion a year and could force the closings of health clinics throughout the city, Bloomberg warns.
Apparently, the Senate is under the impression that New York is flush with money or something. Or maybe it’s just that Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand decided not to hold the Senate hostage like Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, who secured total federal funding of Medicaid for his state until … forever. But the good news is that the Senate bill is not final; it has to be reconciled with the House bill, which is much more generous to New York. Nobody would believe it if Schumer and Gillibrand threatened to withhold support for the bill like Ben Nelson, but the least they could do is throw some sort of hissy fit.