Repealing Obamacare could lead to county financial crisis, says Poloncarz

Jan 9, 2017

If Congressional leaders follow through on their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, millions of New Yorkers could lose their coverage and local taxpayers may feel the pain. 

The state estimates that scrapping Obamacare, without an alternative to fall back on, would leave more than 93,000 people in Erie County without health insurance.

Credit Crystal Graphics

The county could lose more $17 million in federal funding, which Executive Mark Poloncarz says could lead to a financial crisis.
"The only way I can make up for it is to raise taxes or to cut services. And the services we'd cut would be parks, libraries, sheriff's road patrol, highway departments." Poloncarz said.  

The Buffalo Democrat points out that mandated social service programs like Medicaid can't be cut because they're mandated.

But not everyone in County government sees doom and gloom. Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, who chairs the Finance and Management Committee, says he doesn't think the ACA has had a "net positive" effect on the county budget.

"Since the Affordable Care Act's been in place, the county's obligation to ECMC has grown exponentially every year. And that's a direct result of the Affordable Care Act," Lorigo said.

The West Seneca Conservative went on to say that he knows there are concerns about repealing the ACA, but Lorigo says there are also opportunities to improve a system that "hasn't been working."