Weather Alert  

"Winter Storm Watch" ...Winter Storm Watch in effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon... * what...heavy mixed precipitation possible. Total snow and sleet accumulations of 3 to 6 inches and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch possible. * Where...portions of northeast New Jersey, southern Connecticut and southeast New York. * When...from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. * Additional details...travel could be very difficult at any point during the storm. Rapidly falling temperatures Sunday afternoon into the evening could cause any standing water to quickly freeze over. Strong wind gusts Sunday afternoon into the night could bring down tree limbs and power lines. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A Winter Storm Watch means there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts. , "Special Statement" ...Light snow expected across the tri-state tonight... A weak area of low pressure will move across the region tonight, resulting in a light snowfall across the tri-state area. Snow is expected to overspread the region around midnight and continue through the early morning hours, ending during the morning commute, except east of NYC, where light snow may continue into the mid morning hours. On average, snowfall amounts will range between an inch and two inches. Motorists should be prepared for the possibility of slippery roads and use caution while driving. -- Friday Jan.18 19,12:19 AM

The Future of Medicaid

LongIsland.com

The current state of the economy and the rise in unemployment have resulted in a greater demand for medicaid coverage in the United States. In addition, experts predict that Medicaid enrollment will grow approximately 7 ...

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The current state of the economy and the rise in unemployment have resulted in a greater demand for medicaid coverage in the United States. In addition, experts predict that Medicaid enrollment will grow approximately 7 - 8% next year. Currently, the states, including New York, receive funds from the federal government in order to pay for the costs of the state's medicaid programs. The government has already rejected the request of many states for an increase in funding due to the current economic situation.

On February 3, 2002, President Bush delivered a $2.2 trillion fiscal year 2003 budget to Congress. In response to President Bush's budget, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trilion fiscal year 2003 budget resolution that would cut approximately $100 million dollars from the Medicaid program over the course of the next 10 years. While there is still time before we know the outcome of the final budget (the Sente has to pass its own budget resolution and then both the House and Senate resolutions will go to House-Senate conference), many fear that there may still be significantly less funding allocated to the states for Medicaid.

In his budget, President Bush proposes and additional $12.7 billion in Medicaid funding over seven years but the added resources are limited to states that agree to convert to a Medicaid block grant with capped funding regardless of the number of new beneficiaries joining the program. States that prefer to continue under the existing program are ineligible for additional assistance.

If President Bush's proposal passes Congress, the states would not need to provide any guarantees about the coverage status of current Medicaid enrollees. The benefits of many Medicaid beneficiaries could be drastically reduced or even eliminated.

The moral of the story: plan now.