STATEN ISLAND — A late provision in the GOP's health care bill shifting Medicaid costs solely to New York State could cut millions in funding to city hospitals and cost a vote from New York City's lone Republican congressman.
The amendment to the Republicans' overhaul of the Affordable Care Act to stop federal Medicaid reimbursement to the state could lose $37.4 millions in funding to hospitals in Rep. Dan Donovan's district, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Donovan announced late Wednesday afternoon that, while he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act — commonly called Obamacare — the provisions added to the bill cost his vote on the bill.
"Obamacare has burdened New York families with unaffordable premiums, rendered some insurance plans unusable because of high deductibles, and caused people to lose their doctors," Donovan said in a statement. "But recognizing that the status quo is failing isn’t, on its own, a compelling reason to vote ‘yes’ on the current replacement plan."
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 22, 2017
Donovan said that he supports some provisions in the Republicans' American Health Care Act, which President Donald Trump is trying to push through, but thinks they can make a better bill.
"We need healthcare reform — including promised Medicaid reform in New York where we spend more than Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania combined — but it shouldn't be done on the backs of already overburdened City residents who will undoubtedly have a tax increase forced on them to pay for this eminently unfair policy," said Donovan, who supported President Donald Trump in the primary.
The congressman met with Trump on Tuesday about the bill and told NY1 he has "deep and serious concerns" about it, but didn't make up his mind to vote against it until Wednesday.
"We need health care reform — including promised Medicaid reform in New York … but it shouldn't be done on the backs of already overburdened City residents who will undoubtedly have a tax increase forced on them to fill in the hole," Donovan told the station.
An analysis by the state Department of Health found that within Donovan's district, Coney Island Hospital could lose nearly $20 million in funding; Beth Israel $9 million; Staten Island University Hospital nearly $6 million; and Richmond University Medical Center nearly $3 million under the plan.
Donovan, who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, has faced heat from residents about the bill and his refusal to hold a public town hall meeting on health care, blaming "professional protesters."
After protesters shouted him down last month at a Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce meeting, Donovan said on CNN he was no longer willing to hold public meetings and opted for smaller ones instead.
"The event was taken over by professional protesters, 40 of which had to be taken out," Donovan said on the station, according to a transcript posted by Talking Points Memo. "So I've been doing teletown hall meetings where I speak to 14,000 families two weeks ago, in the comfort of their home, people with childcare needs, caring for elderly parents, were able to participate without disruption."
Tongue-in-cheek missing posters went up on both sides of the Verrazano earlier this month and residents hosted protests at both of his offices over his refusal to host a town hall.
The bill will head to the House floor for a vote Thursday.