The Washington Times - April 1, 2011, 03:08PM

Congressman Brian Higgins, New York Democrat, cannot see how a city like New York, without the rest of the state, could qualify for a health care waiver.

I don’t think its realistic you can get a healthcare waiver carve out for the city. That’s a precedent that would be very, very difficult at best,” he told me. “I think the possibility of a state-wide waiver, perhaps—but a city waiver? You think about, ‘What’s next?…Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City?‘,” said Congressman Higgins on fellow New York Democrat Anthony Weiner’s claim that a health care waiver could work in New York City.


Rep.Higgins remains a staunch supporter of the health care legislation he voted for last year with the rest of his party. 

“States have a role in that Medicaid is a part of the health delivery system, but to just take one city out of a state wouldn’t make much sense,” he said. However, the Buffalo congressman noted that any proposed health care waiver for the entire state of New York would be something he would need to look at the “cost benefits of” first. 

 Politico reported last week Mr. Weiner said:   

“The president said, ‘If you have better ideas that can accomplish the same thing, go for it,’” said Weiner. “I’m in the process now of trying to see if we can take [President Barack Obama] up on it in the city of New York, … and I’m taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.”

New York is one of two states that pass on Medicaid expenses to cities and localities, so “the city winds up having an enormous Medicaid expense,” Weiner said.

Following Congressman Weiner’s remarks, conservatives criticized the Brooklyn Congressman, who is said to be eyeing a run for mayor of New York in 2013, for appearing hypocritical for considering an opt out health care waiver solely for his home city after supporting and defending the health care bill, which would mandate every citizen to have health insurance.