De Blasio: Cuomo turning health care cuts into political football

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are at odds again, this time over federal health care cuts. Over the weekend, over $1 billion in federal reductions to the state and city went into effect, giving the governor and the mayor fewer resources for public hospitals. State House Reporter Zack Fink explains.

Mayor de Blasio had a message for Gov. Cuomo at a Monday press conference: "Give our public hospitals the resources they had coming to them so we can serve the patients of New York City, and don't turn it into a political football."

The mayor was referring to federal hospital reimbursement dollars that the state is supposed to pass through to the city but is currently withholding.

Over the weekend, federal cuts went into effect that will withhold $1.1 billion in what is known as Disproportionate Share of Hospital program (DSH).

"Once they tell you on October 1 you are losing $1.1 billion, now you can't make a distribution if you don't know how much money you have to distribute," Cuomo said at a press conference of his own.

But according to Cuomo, it's more than just DSH. A program known as the Child Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, has also been eliminated. CHIP amounts to a $1.2 billion cut and it affects 330,000 children in New York State.

According to Cuomo, the uncertainty about whether the money will be restored by Congress has prompted him to take a wait-and-see approach to determine what money the state ultimately has to distribute. It's not just hospitals in the city that rely on federal pass-through money, but hospitals all over the state.

"We know today we don't have enough money to pay every public hospital 100 percent. We don't," the governor said.

"For the governor to somehow say that the New York City hospitals should suffer in the meantime makes no sense, and I think a lot of New Yorkers are going to be very upset about that," de Blasio said.

If Congress fails to prevent the health care cuts, Cuomo is promising a full scale campaign against Republican members of the State's Congressional Delegation. In fact, his team has already recruited some candidates, and every house seat is up in 2018.

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