Rep. Zeldin Urges Senate to Make Critical Technical Correction to Coronavirus Bill, Providing NYS With $6 Billion in Desperately Needed Healthcare Funding | Congressman Lee Zeldin

Rep. Zeldin Urges Senate to Make Critical Technical Correction to Coronavirus Bill, Providing NYS With $6 Billion in Desperately Needed Healthcare Funding

March 21, 2020
Press Release

PATCHOGUE, NY - Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the bipartisan Congressional Coronavirus Task Force, urged the United States Senate to make a technical change that would free up over $6 billion in Medicaid funding for the State of New York as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) is a rate enacted in 1965 that determines the federal funding share for state Medicaid programs. A state’s FMAP, which varies from state-to-state, determines the percentage at which the federal government matches state funds spent on Medicaid. The State of New York has an FMAP of 50%, which means that for every 50 cents the state and localities spend on Medicaid, the federal government contributes an additional 50 cents. 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which was signed into law last week, included a temporary FMAP increase of 6.2% across the board, which would have brought the State of New York’s FMAP to 56.2%. However, this provision included technical language that disqualified states if they made Medicaid reforms after January 1, 2020.  

The State of New York, in an effort to crack down on out of control Medicaid spending, has been making Medicaid reforms since January 1, 2020, therefore disqualifying the state from over $6 billion in additional Medicaid funding through this 6.2% FMAP increase.

“The State of New York has been the hit hardest by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, now with the greatest number of cases in the country,” said Congressman Zeldin. “Now is not the time to be caught up in technicalities, especially when it comes to our state’s healthcare funding, and it would be counterintuitive and awful policy to penalize the State of New York for reigning in frivolous Medicaid spending. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to immediately correct this during ongoing negotiations of the CARES Act, and ensure we have the vital healthcare resources we need to successfully fight on the front lines of this battle against coronavirus.”