Written by Emilie Munson in the Times Union on June 16, 2020
WASHINGTON — After three Republican members of Congress charged that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was needlessly delaying distributing about $1 billion in Medicaid funding to New York counties, the governor’s administration announced it will soon hand out the money.
Congress’s first coronavirus relief bill that was passed in mid-March increased the share of Medicaid spending that the federal government will cover, called the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), by 6.2 percent. That meant an additional $2.5 billion headed to New York to be split between state and county governments.
“After the federal government repeatedly changed the guidance related to these funds, we’re now making final determinations on how much each county will receive in enhanced FMAP and will release it as soon as possible,” said Freeman Klopott, a spokesman for the state Division of the Budget.
U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, John Katko, R-Camillus, and Peter King, R-Seaford, wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday expressing “deep concern” that counties have not yet received the funds although states could access the money as early as March.
“Counties in our congressional districts have yet to receive any supplemental FMAP funding despite the dire financial circumstances they currently face,” they wrote. “This delay is unacceptable.”
Cuomo has repeatedly advocated for more federal aid to New York to help the state dig out from massive spending increases due to coronavirus response and reduced tax receipts.
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