Area hospitals will lose more than $1.2 million in the state budget-extender package approved this week, according to the Hospital Association of New York State.

"For our hospitals in Delaware County, this is a severe hit," Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, said Wednesday.

HANYS said critical funding is lost under the $775 million in health care cuts approved by the state Legislature in the "extender" package.

Monday's budget action was the seventh in two years that cut funding to New York's health care providers, bringing the total to more than $5 billion, the HANYS media release said.

The association reported that M.I. Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown would see a cut of $538,000.

"Despite the proposed health care cuts assigned to Bassett, we will continue our course of commitment to patient care, education and research, continue our Community Services Program, which will provide financial assistance to those in need of care," said Nicholas J. Nicoletta, corporate vice president and chief financial officer at Bassett Medical Center.

"The real test will be in preparation of the 2011 budget later this year, which will need to find the balance between maintaining our missions with less money to do so," he said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, the area's state lawmakers said Wednesday they didn't support the budget extender and expressed frustration that the state lacks a spending plan more than two months after the April 1 deadline.

The extender passed along party lines.

Bonacic blasted Democrats in the Senate and the Assembly for "complete lack of leadership" and the governor who "didn't intelligently target cuts" to eliminate inefficiencies, duplication and fraud.

Without a 2010-11 budget, the state has lost about three months of such savings, he said, and the economy is "shutting down" because federal funds aren't paid under budget extenders.

In the most recent extender, which pays some bills until June 13, the governor included portions of the regular budget for health care, Bonacic said.

He and other Republicans voted against the extender because the budget should be developed through a conference committee with public debate.

Bonacic said he expects to see budget bills presented within the next two weeks because it would be "catastrophic" for the state budget to be adopted through one-week extensions.

"Bad things are happening by these extenders," Bonacic said. "It is just a horrible process that hurts many, many constituents."

Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, and assemblymen Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie, and Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford, also voted against the extender.

Lopez said the budget process has become a series of "stealth" votes, with sectors targeted or held hostage as the governor threatens to shut down government. In May, Lopez and two other assemblymen proposed a "Budget Neglect Penalty," which would require the governor and legislators to pay $100 each week the budget is late.

The projected shortfall for area hospitals ranges from $45,000 to $538,000, including the loss of federal funding, HANYS said in a report issued Tuesday.

"Health care providers have done more than their fair share in shouldering the burden of resolving the state's fiscal woes," HANYS President Daniel Sisto said in a prepared statement. "State leaders need to understand that any additional cuts and taxes will translate directly to more layoffs, loss of critical health care services, and the closure of health care institutions."

Alicia Barbera, spokeswoman at A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta, said administrators are working with HANYS and other associations to determine the impacts of cuts imposed by the state.

Crouch said he voted against the extender in part because of its negative impact on local hospitals and nursing homes.

"This is a portion of the budget for the rest of the year," Crouch said. "These hospitals and nursing homes are going to see these cuts."

By including health care spending in the extender, the state is spending without having a revenue package to cover costs, Crouch said, and he criticized the governor for failing to heed suggested cuts made by Republicans, such as limiting Medicaid options, and not calling for conference committees to work out the budget.

Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, said he wasn't present to vote because of his wife's health problems. Magee said he is concerned about the fiscal impact on the many health care institutions in his district. But, he said, he probably would have voted against the extender because it's time to get a budget in place.

"It's getting a little ridiculous," he said.

Area losses

The Hospital Association of New York State estimated losses from state budget cuts to area hospitals at more than $1.2 million. According to a HANYS report released Tuesday, area hospitals face the following losses:

"¢ Aurelia Osborn Fox Memorial Hospital, Oneonta, $315,000

"¢ Cobleskill Regional Hospital, $95,000

"¢ Delaware Valley Hospital, Walton, $91,000

"¢ Margaretville Memorial Hospital, $77,000

"¢ Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, $538,000

"¢ O'Connor Hospital, Delhi, $45,000

"¢ Tri-Town Regional Hospital, Sidney, $61,000.

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