SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Congresswoman Claudia Tenney’s (NY-22) yes vote on the American Health Care Act came down to the last minute. The deciding factor was an issue she has been intimately involved in.
For Tenney, the decision to vote for the controversial American Health Care Act, came down to something that she pushed in her other legislative life as a state assembly member:
"My favorite part of the bill is the amendment that I fought for, that I actually sponsored and co-sponsored, one that I fought for with the Democrat Amy Paulin, and numerous other Assembly members, including our own Anthony Brindisi, which would take the local share of Medicaid and give it back to the state,” Tenney said.
New York’s relies heavily on counties to pay it’s Medicaid bill, more than any other state. It is also one of the most generous Medicaid programs in the country, covering low income individuals, a large number of nursing home residents and half of the state’s disabled population.
The Medicaid Mandate Relief Amendment approved with the AHCA, would prohibit states from passing Medicaid costs to counties. Tenney said shifting spending back to Albany, will have a huge impact on local governments which could then lower taxes.
"You would help the small business community, especially farmers who are large landowners. You would help bring people back into this community. It would be fantastic," Tenney explained. "And you would force New York State to finally deal with this Medicaid issue.”
Tenney said this would be the first real tax relief in a generation for Upstate property taxpayers, who pay among the highest taxes in the nation. As for the rest of the bill, she admits it’s not perfect, and expects it will be improved as the legislative process moves forward.