Please keep the health care promise


To the editor:

With the new Republican federal tax bill, New Yorkers will lose out on SALT (the state and local tax deduction), and will lose out on Medicare because of sequestration, despite promises to Susan Collins.

New York hospitals already have begun rationing expensive Medicare patients, those with serious long-term illnesses. And because of the elimination of the Affordable Care Act mandate, 13 million Americans will lose their health care in the coming years because insurance companies will make affordable care unaffordable.

Speaking about the deficits that the Republican tax bill will soon incur, Paul Ryan has already declared that “we’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit … health care entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid are the big drivers of debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”

But physically speaking, how can the New York Independent Democratic Conference continue to caucus with a Republican Party that is so mean-spirited? Considering the federal cuts to health care, how can Democrats not wholeheartedly support the New York Health Act, an act which will replace what federal Republicans intend to repeal?

It’s time for Sen. Jeff Klein to keep his promise to the people of his district and insist that hearings on the bill be held soon. The NYHA will save health care costs for 98 percent of New Yorkers — old and young, rich and poor. And, while you’re at it, Sen. Klein, use your newsletter — usually touting what you have done to help your constituents — to inform them about what you have still to do. Proclaim your co-sponsorship and make it meaningful.

Tell the city residents in your district that they will be covered for all medically necessary expenses, with physicians whom they choose, with no co-pays and with services — like dental, hearing, visual, psychological — that they never had before.

And then let the suburbanites in your district know that, with the NYHA, monies for their property taxes will no longer have to subsidize Medicaid. That will mean savings for them, which will bring them back some of what Washington took away when it cut SALT.

The NYHA is vital now that the federal government jeopardizes our wellbeing. Speak out definitively and often, Sen. Klein. Please.

Deborah Schiavo

Deborah Schiavo