Public Hearing Needed: Impact on Dutchess County of Health Care Reform/Repeal(!)

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Sign this petition and email if you agree that the Dutchess County Legislature needs to hold a public hearing on the local impact here in our county of repealing/reforming the Affordable Care Act-- which would obviously have quite an impact on the taxpayers and residents of Dutchess County in many different ways.

Countless times during the 14 years I've been in office, I've been told by GOP leadership that I can use our County Legislature's Chambers on the sixth floor of our County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie to hold public meetings/hearings at will on any issue I so desire (this has been the Dutchess Republican excuse to deny my resolutions calling for such public meetings from even being on committee meeting agenda).

Indeed, the fact is that I was actually allowed to (and did hold) precisely just an event in our County Legislature's chambers on the 6th floor of 22 Market -- a public hearing on the criminal justice system here in our county-- September 3, 2015; recall how the local Dutchess County End the New Jim Crow Action Network helped publicize this event; it was a Facebook event too:             .

However, recently I was told by the current GOP-led Dutchess County Legislature majority that I would not (contrary to previous promises and inconsistent with the policy of our County Legislature for many years now) be allowed to hold a public meeting on the the local impact here in Dutchess of repealing/reforming the Affordable Care Act, where local residents would be able to each speak for several minutes, as with other public hearings held in our County Legislature's Chambers (thus this petition).

Not outraged?  Sorry-- you must not be paying attention.

[pass it on!]

Joel Tyner, Dutchess County Legislator (Clinton/Rhinebeck), 324 Browns Pond Road, Staatsburg, NY 12580 845-464-2245/876-2488

p.s. Call Congress too-- at 866-338-1015!

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The New York Times reported July 3rd that Dutchess County Executive Molinaro supports the Faso-Collins amendment.                          

On that note-- The Daily News published this op-ed column June 30th from former Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch (also a board member of Mount Sinai Hospital and former trustee of the Kaiser Family Foundation) on the Faso-Collins amendment.

"The Betrayal of New York from within: Faso-Collins Medicaid Manuever Would Cut Billions"                                                                      

Much has been and will be written about the congressional effort to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that will cause substantial injury to the poor and the healthcare institutions that provide for them. But far less has been written about an egregious amendment to the bill that applies to and severely harms New York State, and only New York State.

Sponsored by New York Congressmen John Faso and Chris Collins, the amendment threatens to deny federal Medicaid matching funds to the 57 counties outside of New York City unless the state picks up the local share now borne by the counties.

This amendment could cut federal funding to New York State by $2.3 billion annually unless the State picks up the county share — on top of the $2.4 billion Medicaid cut that will occur in all events if Trump and Congress have their way.

That’s a $4.7 billion cut in the name of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

The GOP health care bill never once mentions the word 'women'

It would appear that the two distinguished upstate congressmen forgot they were sent to Washington to help their constituents, not to deprive them of so significant a part of their healthcare safety net.

New York is among relatively few states to force local governments to share the state’s share of Medicaid expenses. Their amendment would result in either the state reducing its Medicaid program, with consequent loss of health care services to its recipients, or raising income or sales taxes in order to replace the money lost because of the Faso-Collins amendment.
If this were to happen, New York City residents might be doubly financially burdened as they would participate in the State tax increase to fund upstate Medicaid expenses, while continuing to pay the New York City share though their local taxes.

Neither option serves the interest of the people of New York. The irony is that while our representatives are doing this ostensibly to lower property taxes in their counties, there is no guarantee that the local politicians will do that. It is surprising that two otherwise intelligent members of Congress would choose party loyalty and ideological purity over the needs of the people they represent.

Should this odious healthcare bill pass, all New Yorkers should support Gov. Cuomo’s proposal for a “Faso-Collins tax” on the counties that benefit by their amendment.

As a former lieutenant governor of New York and a trustee of a major academic medical center in Manhattan, I’ve seen firsthand the immense importance of New York's Medicaid program. It is indispensable for millions of New Yorkers. By being so carelessly willing to injure them, I believe Reps. Faso and Collins are betraying the interest of all New Yorkers.

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As Governor Cuomo pointed out March 9th this year:

"The New York State Department of Health’s analysis of the House Republican’s American Health Care Act concludes that: Over 1 million New Yorkers would face a significant loss in health care coverage under the plan.  Over $4.5 billion in costs would be shifted to state, counties, and safety net hospitals over the next four years increasing the tax burden on residents and putting countless health care providers in jeopardy.  At least $2.4 billion of these costs will be shifted annually beginning in 2020. This burden could grow even larger when the impact of Medicaid block grants is taken into account.  $400 million in tax credits used by New Yorkers to purchase health insurance on the New York State of Health insurance exchange would be lost and replaced in some cases with alternative subsidies which are not related ability to pay.  Wide range of benefits provided for under the Affordable Care Act are removed and savings are shifted to wealthy individuals and corporations."                                                                                                     

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The New York Times ominously reported on June 22nd this year that; "the Senate bill would make subsidies less generous than under current law. It would also lower the annual income limit for receiving subsidies to cover insurance premiums to 350 percent of the poverty level, or about $42,000 for an individual, from 400 percent.  Older people could be disproportionately hurt because they pay more for insurance in general. Both chambers’ bills would allow insurers to charge older people five times as much as younger ones; the limit now is three times.  The Senate measure, like the House bill, would phase out the extra money that the federal government has provided to states as an incentive to expand eligibility for Medicaid. And like the House bill, it would put the entire Medicaid program on a budget, ending the open-ended entitlement that now exists."                       

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