Congressman Tom Reed today announced the creation of a local Medicaid Task Force to advise ways to save tax dollars and root out waste, fraud and abuse within the Medicaid system. Reed asked Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli to serve as Chairman of the Task Force.
"Health care costs, especially Medicaid costs, are being passed down to every county in our district," Rep. Reed said. "Hearing frequently from constituents on the skyrocketing cost burden, our goal with the Medicaid Task Force is to gather information from local experts who administer this program to find ways to save tax dollars. This initiative will lead to a better, more efficient program but more importantly, keep money in the pockets of taxpayers."
Chemung County Executive Santulli is recognized as a leader in the fight for Medicaid reform in New York State. He is known among the most knowledgeable county-level Medicaid policy experts in New York, making him a logical chair for the Medicaid Task Force.
"I applaud Congressman Reed's efforts to address Medicaid reform and I am pleased to chair this Task Force," said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli. "Medicaid represents the single largest expense in county budgets across the state, consuming $7.57 billion or 50 percent of all property taxes collected in New York. We must continue to look for ways to improve the overall efficiency of the Medicaid program; find solutions to fraud, abuse and over-utilization of services, and discover true cost savings in order to ease the burden this program places on our homeowners and businesses."
Reed made the announcement in Elmira at the John H. Hazlett Building along with County Executive Santulli, Chemung County Welfare Commissioner Deretha Watterson and Veronica Hart, Director of Temporary Assistance in the Department of Social Services, and Steuben County Welfare Commissioner Kathryn Muller.
The Medicaid Task Force's primary mission will be to recommend to Congressman Reed attainable proposals on current Medicaid policies and practices, which will result in cost savings to localities, the state, and federal government.
"With New York State's Medicaid budget the highest in the nation, we need to examine current regulations and procedures and find areas which can be modified in order to decrease the overall cost of the program while maintaining a high quality of care for our Medicaid recipients," continued County Executive Santulli.
Welfare commissioners from each of the eleven counties in the 23rd Congressional District will be invited to serve on the Task Force to ensure a broad range of knowledge and input. The Task Force meetings will convene as necessary to identify and complete the list of recommended practices so that Congressman Reed can bring their recommendations to Washington.