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Paterson: NY can't afford to fund national health plan

Gov. David Paterson leaves a news conference at

Gov. David Paterson leaves a news conference at the Capitol in upstate Albany. Paterson said he would withhold senators' pay and take them to court if they don't do their jobs. (June 24, 2009) Photo Credit: AP Photo

Gov. David A. Paterson said Monday that New York would oppose a national health insurance plan that requires funding from the states.

"I commend the president the most for taking on a controversial issue and sticking to his guns," Paterson told reporters in Tarrytown. "The only caveat is right now in New York State, if there are any of these matching programs where the state has to put in money, New York State can't be interested," he said.

Paterson and his predecessors have complained about the high cost of Medicaid. New York matches 50 percent of the federal dollars in the health care program for the poor, a higher percentage than many states. Paterson said the cost, estimated at $3 billion to $4 billion per year, puts New York "behind" other states.

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