Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and other officials warned the Senate plan would:Well, maybe Paterson and Bloomberg should grill the state's representatives in Congress over this failing. After all, with Senior Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Charlie Rangel in positions of importance, you'd think that they'd be able to bring home the bacon for the state, but it appears that they've failed miserably to do even that. By playing "loyal" soldiers and supporting this mess, they've screwed New York at its most desperate hour. Did they not see that the costs would hit New York disproportionately precisely because the state had been overly generous with its Medicare/Medicaid programs for decades?
- Force the city to close 100 health clinics.
- Blow a $1 billion hole in the state's budget.
- Threaten struggling hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.
"It is really a disgrace and we've got to make sure that we fight before the bill is finally passed," Bloomberg fumed.
New York ended up on the short end as Senate brokers showered cash on states whose senators were among the last holdouts before Democratic leaders locked up the 60 needed votes.
New York's best hope now is emergency surgery to undo the shafting before the bill becomes final.
A health care overhaul passed by the House last month is more generous to the city and state, and negotiations over the differences start in January.
Under the Senate plan, the biggest rewards go the states that, unlike New York, have been Scrooges to the poor in need of medical care.
"We are in a sense being punished for our own charity," Paterson said Monday.
Paterson was also bitter that states like Massachusetts and Vermont, which were also generous, got last-minute deals that erase their extra costs.
Of course, the whole situation boils down to cost, and this health care proposal is a costly shifting of burdens that does nothing to reduce the actual cost of health care.
All the horse trading over benefits and costs means that the Democrat leadership can barely keep up with the criticisms and complaints over the plan from its own caucus, let alone the withering criticism from everyone else who sees this plan as a mess.
Schumer was in on this mess from the get-go, and he thinks that this will end up being a net positive for the state. It's hard to compute that when the state's finances are essentially broke due to structural deficits as far as the eye can see, and yet the state is being asked to assume even more costs. The House version may be more helpful to New York, but the chances of those provisions getting adopted are slim if this bill is to pass the Senate.