Garbarino Presses Important Matters at Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Health Care

February 14, 2018

Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,I,Ref-Sayville), center, discusses significant budget matters regarding health care at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Health Care.

Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,I,Ref-Sayville) at a recent Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Health Care emphasized the need for the state to assume Medicaid costs, which burden local governments like Suffolk County. The local share of Medicaid is one of the many unfunded mandates burdening Long Island taxpayers. He also pushed for the state to increase support and supplies of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone to emergency responders.

“New York must carefully balance the health concerns of the public with fiscal responsibility. Over the years, New York has ignored this and grew our Medicaid program to one of the largest and most costly in the country. This expense has been passed on to our local governments and property taxpayers,” said Garbarino, who sits on the Assembly Committee on Health. “With the rise of opioid addiction, our state is facing one of its greatest health crises yet. It is my hope that we can better support first responders with life-saving medicines to prevent needless overdose deaths.”

The governor’s budget proposal includes a $712 million increase to Medicaid funding from last year’s budget for a total amount of $72.1 billion. The Department of Health has been taking on the growth of local Medicaid spending. However, many argue the state must take on the entire cost of Medicaid to force the state to create savings in what is one of the most costly programs in the nation.

The heroin and opioid epidemic also remains a concern for the assemblyman. He is urging for a better supply of the life-saving medication Naloxone to EMS and other first responders from the Department of Health.