Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, claimed a third of New York's population is on Medicaid. (Courtesy: Faso's Facebook Page) Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, claimed a third of New York's population is on Medicaid. (Courtesy: Faso's Facebook Page)

Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, claimed a third of New York's population is on Medicaid. (Courtesy: Faso's Facebook Page)

By Dan Clark July 21, 2017

One in three people in New York is on Medicaid

Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, says Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo could do a better job managing the state’s Medicaid program.

He has proposed legislation to shift Medicaid costs from counties to the state. Counties outside New York City pay close to $2.3 billion in Medicaid costs annually. Faso says the state could handle the expense if Cuomo cut costs elsewhere or lowered Medicaid spending, which topped $28 billion last year according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy analysis group. That’s more than Texas and Florida combined.

"We now have about one-third of New York’s population on Medicaid," Faso said. "Some people in Albany may look upon that as an accomplishment. I look upon that as a failure."

New York is one of 31 states and the District of Columbia that expanded income eligibility for Medicaid, an option under Obamacare.

That opened the door for those who may have been unable to get health insurance otherwise.

But is Faso right that a third of the state’s population is on Medicaid?

Medicaid numbers in New York

About 6.4 million people received Medicaid benefits in New York as of April 2017, the most recent count from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The agency includes enrollees in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which insures children from families with incomes too high for Medicaid but too low to buy insurance.

The state’s population is 19.74 million, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau numbers.

That makes Faso right: 33 percent of the state’s population is enrolled in Medicaid.

New York has the second-highest Medicaid participation rate in the country. New Mexico ranked first with almost 38 percent on Medicaid.

New York ranked highest before the Obamacare expansion with almost 29 percent of the state’s population on Medicaid in 2013.

Our ruling

Faso said a third of New York’s population is on Medicaid.

The latest federal data supports his claim: One of every three New York residents is enrolled in Medicaid.

We rate his claim True.

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"We now have about one-third of New York’s population on Medicaid."
New York
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Our Sources

"Medicaid funding casts shadow over New Yorkers amid DC political drama", Times Herald-Record, July 15, 2017

Email conversation with John Lange from Rep. John Faso’s office

Email and phone conversation with Ben Rosen, spokesperson for the state Dept. of Health

Email conversation with Craig Palosky from the Kaiser Family Foundation

Email conversation with press office staff at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Email conversation with Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center

Federal and State Share of Medicaid Spending, 2016, Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid Spending per Enrollee (Full or Partial Benefit), 2014, Kaiser Family Foundation

Status of State Action on the Medicaid Expansion Decision, 2017, Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid and CHIP in New York, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

List of required and optional services covered by Medicaid, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

List of benefits covered by Medicaid in New York, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

April 2017 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Data, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Population numbers obtained using American FactFinder from the U.S. Census Bureau, July 2016

Connecticut Medicaid Enrollment, Pre-ACA Medicaid Expansion, Connecticut Voices for Children

Maine Medicaid Enrollment, Pre-ACA Medicaid Expansion, Kaiser Family Foundation

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More by Dan Clark

One in three people in New York is on Medicaid

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