[Guest post by DRJ]
In response to a projected $12.5B budget shortfall, New York Governor David Paterson may propose a budget that’s heartless by Democratic standards:
“New taxes, deep cuts to education and health care, and a restructuring of the state’s economic development programs will be hallmarks of Gov. David Paterson’s first budget plan to be released in two days, according to interviews of people briefed on components.
The health industry will be particularly upset, although Paterson’s cuts will raise blood pressure throughout. He will call for about $3.53 billion in health care cuts, not including federal share of matching Medicaid dollars, which could be another $2 billion in cuts.
The biggest hits will be to insurance companies, which will be asked to come up with about $855 million in extra assessments. Those amount to more taxes on health insurance plans, increased sales tax on hospital discharges and more shifting of general fund costs to the Insurance Department so that insurance companies pay for programs such as Timothy’s Law, the mandated coverage of mental health treatments.
Bad news for people who need insurance, get sick or want an education in New York, as well as for those who buy sodas, license plates, clothing and gasoline. The report states taxes on these items will go up, including a $404M obesity tax on non-diet sodas.