To the editor:
Despite the fact that the recent off-year election shows how important health care is to Americans today, the Republicans in Congress are ignoring the pressing needs of voters.
As of this writing, the House bill eliminates the medical deduction from federal taxes, depriving families (caring for the aging and chronically ill) of the one break they have. These are the heartless Washington Republicans who simply let CHIP lapse.
In place for years, CHIP — the Children’s Health Insurance Program — has provided poor children in the Bronx with everything from immunizations to dental treatment, to hospitalization.
This is the party which stealthily will make cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, even as it seeks to cut subsidies for the Affordable Care Act.
Why should our state legislators — who ran as Democrats — side with the party which will rob New Yorkers of their basic human rights to health care?
Our senator, Jeffrey Klein, has the opportunity to prove his mettle by keeping his promise to support the New York Health Act, first by using the power of his office to become a strong advocate for the bill to his constituents and friends in the senate, and then by bringing it to open hearings in the health committee, where it is currently deadlocked.
The New York Health Act will provide comprehensive, universal, cost-effective health care. “Universal” means every New York resident, regardless of age. “Comprehensive” means all essential medical care, from seeing doctors of your choice to hospitalization, from essential care for dental, vision, hearing, mental health, substance abuse, to prescription drugs and devices.
Respected non-partisan health care economists have vetted the costs and have shown that the finances will work.
Sen. Klein is in a unique position to get this legislation passed. Our hope is still that he will use his influence to place New York in the vanguard with legislation that, freeing our businesses and residents from constantly rising medical costs, will fuel our economy with real growth.
That’s not trickle-down. It’s zooming up!
Barbara L. Estrin