A gap in Medicaid spending is a “major problem for the state” Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged on Tuesday to reporters.

The gap for the program, which provides health care for low-income people, could be as high as $3 billion. The has delayed Medicaid payments, including a $2 billion delayed payment this spring, in a sign the budget crunch is deepening.

This means a $1.5 billion cut before the end of the fiscal year on March 31 is a potential.

“We have a reduction in federal aid, we have an increase in labor cost, we have an increase in coverage for the program, which is a good thing,” Cuomo said. “They’re all good factors beside the reduction in federal aid. But it’s going to be a major financial issue for the state.”

His administration has specifically pointed to rising costs due to the increase in the minimum wage and an aging population as well as increased enrollment.

It’s not clear how Cuomo plans to contend with the Medicaid gap in his budget proposal, due out by early next year. Cuomo also wants to keep spending relatively flat in keeping with an annual 2 percent limit in growth and has pledged to not back any broad-based tax increases.

Politically, it’s also an election year for state lawmakers, typically when the Legislature is eager to add more spending.