New York has struck a deal with the U.S. government to waive some Medicaid requirements, saving the state $8 billion that Governor Andrew Cuomo said can be used to keep open financially struggling hospitals in Brooklyn and elsewhere.
The savings would be generated over five years and the money would be reinvested in New York’s health-care system to improve care and efficiencies, Cuomo said.
Medicaid is the federal-state health program for the poor, and the Democratic governor sought the waiver for some of its rules 19 months ago.
“While the state will be reviewing the terms and conditions of this agreement, it is clearly the biggest step forward towards a positive conclusion for our communities, particularly in Brooklyn, that have suffered from diminishing health-care services,” the governor said in a statement.
“Securing this waiver will address those needs, allowing us to increase access and improve the quality of care for New Yorkers while making New York’s health care system a model for the entire nation,” he said.