Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York needs a Medicaid funding infusion first requested in 2012 to support hospital overhauls and expanded primary medical care to meet growing patient demand under the state's new health insurance exchange.
The exchange has enrolled more than 412,000 New Yorkers for health insurance coverage since October.
Meanwhile, state officials are pursuing a waiver to use up to $2 billion annually from Medicaid over five years to help struggling hospitals cut beds and admissions in a shift to more primary and outpatient medical care.
More primary care will be needed to accommodate the newly insured, projected to top 1 million in three years.
Cuomo says Thursday the waiver is needed quickly or struggling hospitals will close, creating a crisis and also endangering the health exchange operation.
© 2014 AP