Some are calling it the "Buffalo Buyout": Eight of nine members of the Republican Congressional New York delegation are now voting “yes” to approve the Affordable Care Act replacement bill. This comes after Representatives Chris Collins and John Faso convinced House leadership to pass an amendment that shifts Medicaid costs from counties to the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling it a death trap. Our Washington bureau reporter Alberto Pimienta caught up with Collins and Faso and has the story.
In their only on-camera interviews after the amendment was adopted, Representatives Chris Collins and John Faso say the change is a no-brainer.
"Albany passes $2.3 billion of Medicaid cost, down to the local property tax bill, on the property owners and tax payers in these 57 counties. They should be absorbed at the state level. That’s what other states do," Collins said.
"The state should be bearing what most other states bear. Why can’t New York do the same?" Faso asked.
When Collins and Faso saw the Obamacare replacement bill in trouble with the state’s Republican House delegation, they decided to step in. Their amendment shifts $2.3 billion of Medicaid costs from 57 counties to the state. New York City is not included in the amendment.
After the change, eight of the nine members of the Republican delegation are now voting yes. Representative John Katko will be the only one to vote no.
"I think this bill will pass by one vote," Collins said.
Unleashing against the measure, Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a "death trap."
"What they leave out is if the county doesn’t pay its share, there is another $2.3 billion cut to Medicaid on top of everything else," Cuomo said, "and that means less people are going to get health care assistance."
Collins and Faso couldn’t agree less.
"I’m actually just flabbergasted that this governor is so incompetent, that he can’t figure out a way to find these savings within the Medicaid program," Collins said. "I’ve said I could volunteer two hours today and find $2.3 billion of saving in a $63 billion bloated plan."
"It really just is over-the-top rhetoric," Faso said. "This amendment finally fixes a 51-year mistake in New York."
Spectrum News asked Rep. Collins what would happen if the Obamacare replacement bill, with the amendment in it, passes.
"We have a vindictive governor," said Collins of Cuomo. "This is a governor that looks at retribution as his middle name. So I would not be surprised to see this governor take it out on Western New York ... so all I would tell you is, moving forward, we all need to be concerned, because when this governor gets upset, people’s heads get lopped off."