According to the New York Times, “New York City will pay the federal government $70 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the city of overbilling Medicaid by improperly approving home care for frail and elderly clients.” The care in question was personal care, “which could include housecleaning, dressing, bathing and shopping and could cost $75,000 to $150,000 a year.” Actually, it only costs that much when provided in New York City. Which is why the last time I checked, New York State accounted for a huge share of U.S. Medicaid spending on “personal care.” Many states do not even offer personal care as part of their Medicaid program.
Of course “New York City will pay” is not an accurate description of what will happen. The people who live in New York City, and will live in New York City in the future, will pay. They will have their services cut further. They will have their taxes increased further. All to pay for the federal share of underserved services for seniors, with the city’s share having been paid already. Who should the sacrifices be targeted to? Social services for children? Public schools? Should we accept fewer police officers? Stop repainting the Brooklyn Bridge? Raise the property tax? I’d like to see the New York City Council have a debate and identify specifically who will be made worse off to pay this $70 million. As a clue to who is being and will be made worse off the pay for $billions Generation Greed has made off with, leaving debts and unfunded pension obligations behind.