A broad group of organizations including the NYS Health Plan Association, the NYS Business Council, the NYS Conference of BlueCross and BlueShield Plans, and more wrote a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking that his Medicaid Redesign Team does not increase taxes on the privately insured.

These groups expressed their strong opposition to any new taxes placed on privately insured health plans to help close the $2.5 billion Medicaid budget gap. Instead, they ask that the MRT only focuses on reforming and controlling costs in the Medicaid program.

“A workgroup charged with reassessing the way the program’s current structure is driving unsustainable costs should not undertake policy discussions that will add to the cost of health insurance for New York businesses and the individuals they employ, union benefit funds and individual consumers," the letter states.

According to the letter, the state collects more than $5 billion each year from various taxes and surcharges on health insurances. It represents the third-largest source of state revenue after sales and income taxes.

These groups ask that it be made clear from the beginning to this Medicaid panel that raising taxes is outside of its authority.

Earlier this month, Cuomo announced the Medicaid Redesign Team would be reconstituted in order to help close the budget gap in the program.