House leaders also sought to win support from centrist Republicans from upstate New York leaders by adding a provision (Collins Amendment) that would ban the federal government from reimbursing state Medicaid funds raised by local governments, according to New York Rep. Chris Collins. He told CNN the change would help bring along other members of his state’s delegation who are currently wavering on the bill.
The Collins Amendment might well appeal to upstate NY Republicans who would like much to claim that they had acted to reduce property taxes, but it does nothing to make RyanCare more palatable–reduced property taxes would need to be offset by increases in other taxes or reduction in Medicaid benefits.
A House GOP aide told CNN the change would apply to New York state only. In New York, counties outside of New York City send $2.3 billion to the state to help pay for Medicaid. The amendment would give the state the incentive to stop passing down Medicaid costs to the counties, Collins said.
I don’t know why the Collins Amendment is said to apply to NYS only. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, liberally interpreted, may prohibit tax laws not “uniform throughout the United States.”
Reeds views are hypocritical:
- The Collins Amendment an “unfunded mandate.”
- The Collins Amendment interferes with “States’ Rights.”
Nothing new in that! Tom Reed opposes unfunded mandates and upholds States’ rights only when it pleases him to do so.
Collins may be planning to run for Governor. To claim credit for reducing property taxes and to blame Governor Cuomo for offsetting tax increases or benefit cuts would work well for him. Tom Reed might also be interested in running for Governor, if the opportunity presented itself.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, quoted in a WRFA article, explains:
Here are the facts: The overall Medicaid plan would cost the state billions of dollars of lost federal funds and jeopardize hospital stability,” Lt. Gov. Hochul said. “As if that were not enough, Rep. Collins would have the state assume the counties’ share of Medicaid expenses outside of New York City. The current breakdown is 13 percent county, 36 percent state, and 51 percent federal. This ill-conceived plan would cost his home state approximately $2.3 billion. Unbelievably, that’s on top of the cost of the Republican Affordable Care Act repeal plan – another $2.4 billion. Translation: Rep. Collins is proposing a tax increase on New Yorkers to the tune of $4.7 billion.
Will the Collins Amendment be accepted? If it applies only to NYS, one might expect it to have limited appeal to the House. But if House mis-leaders see it as critical to getting their RyanCare bill (AHCA) through the House, they might take care that the Collins Amendment gets the necessary votes.