Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Democrats Introduce Legislation to Repeal Medicaid Intercept

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Rochester, New York – April 16, 2012.  Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature have introduced legislation to repeal the Medicaid Intercept, which is a method of paying for Medicaid wherein the State intercepts a portion of the County’s sales tax revenue. Although the Medicaid Intercept has yielded some short-term savings, in coming years it will begin to cost County taxpayers millions more than if it were never enacted.

Democratic Legislator Paul Haney (D-Rochester, Brighton), the sponsor of the legislation, said, “We are very pleased that the Governor and State Legislature have agreed to have the State assume our growth in Medicaid expenses in coming years. To fully reap the benefits of this new Medicaid plan, it is critical that we rescind the decision to opt-in to the intercept. If the intercept is not rescinded, then the taxpayers of our County will soon begin to have to pay more in property taxes for the Medicaid program.”

Although opting in to the intercept was originally an irrevocable decision, the most recent State budget has provided Monroe County with the option to repeal the intercept. However, the County must decide whether to repeal the intercept before January 1, 2013.

Democratic Minority Leader Ted O’Brien (D-Irondequoit) said, “This proposal will surely save our County money over the long-term. It is critical that we enact this legislation so that we don’t miss out on this opportunity. I certainly hope both our Republican colleagues in the legislature and the County Executive will support this legislation.”

The proposed legislation now goes to Legislature President Jeff Adair who will decide which committee will consider the proposal. Once assigned to a committee, the Legislation would be subject to a public hearing at the July 10, 2012 Legislature meeting. This timeline would give both the public and legislators ample time for review, unlike when the Intercept was originally passed with less than 24 hours notice to the public and legislators.

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