John Sullivan is EffectiveNY’s Man Upstate

Democratic gadfly Bill Samuels has named John T. Sullivan Jr., a former state Deputy Medicaid Inspector General and mayor of Oswego, as “upstate director” of EffectiveNY, Samuels’ progressive advocacy group.

First up for Sullivan: promoting a full state takeover of the non-federal share of Medicaid by switching the revenue stream from local property taxes to a statewide income tax. (The TU’s edit board opined on this recently.)

From EffectiveNY’s release:

In his new position, Sullivan, who recently considered a run for Congress in the 21st District, will travel upstate New York, meeting with local and state officials, and speaking with local groups, to solicit support for EffectiveNY’s proposal that Albany fully fund Medicaid at the state level and save local governments $8.4 billion.

A recent Effective NY report reveals that New York is the only state in the country that still forces localities to pay such a large portion of overall Medicaid costs. New York’s counties pay for Medicaid by raising property taxes and shifting public resources away from other vital services and programs that help working families.

The report shows that the fairest, most sustainable way to end the stranglehold on localities is for Albany to accept full responsibility for funding its share of Medicaid.

Sullivan is a top state expert on Medicaid. While he served as Deputy Medicaid Inspector General, Sullivan was responsible for coordinating helping County governments throughout New York state fight Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Bill Samuels and Jesse Laymon to advance this important Medicaid reform proposal and other progressive reform proposals,” said Sullivan. “I am excited by the opportunity to be an advocate for meaningful reform, and to have a chance to help forward the progressive reform agenda of EffectiveNY and its allies across the state,” Sullivan added.

“As a well-known state leader and Medicaid expert, John Sullivan is an excellent spokesman and advocate for this statewide campaign to get Albany to step up and finally pay its full share of Medicaid. This proposal would enable localities to invest more resources in policies and programs to boost working families,” said Jesse Laymon, Executive Director of EffectiveNY.

“The bottom line is that Albany needs to change the way it does business, and this progressive Medicaid proposal is long overdue reform that everyone should support. We are glad to have the skills, talent, and experience of John Sullivan championing this urgent cause on behalf of the people of New York State,” said Samuels.

Along with serving as a New York Deputy Medicaid Inspector General and former Mayor of Oswego, Sullivan has been a County Legislator, Assistant NYS Attorney General, and Co-Chair of the New York State Democratic party. He was instrumental in the formation of the Democratic Rural Conference in Upstate New York. Sullivan was briefly considered as a candidate for Congress in the 21st Congressional District, and chose to pass that opportunity in favor of working in a broader context for reform of New York’s government, including public financing of political campaigns. He has been a guest columnist for several newspapers, including the Albany Times Union and the New York Post. He has taught government classes at several mid-western universities, and recently re-located back to Upstate New York, where he now resides, in Saratoga Springs.

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