Health care town halls held in Rockland, Westchester, by Lowey


Lowey, right, with panelists in Rockland County

WHITE PLAINS – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D, NY-17) heard from constituents
in Rockland and Westchester counties on how they feel about Republican
efforts to dump the Affordable Care Act and adopt their own model.

The comments came during town hall meetings Lowey held in Thiells and
White Plains on Saturday.

Cuts to Medicaid would take away medical care, compromise critical services
and jeopardize millions of Americans, putting their health and their lives
at risk,” said Jill Warner, CEO of Jawonio, Inc. “For many
people with disabilities and mental health challenges at Jawonio and similar
organizations, Medicaid cuts as proposed, would threaten access to essential
services that support our most vulnerable citizens to exercise their basic
human right to live, work and participate in the community.”

Supporters of the GOP bill “urge that it would allow individuals
to have access to buying insurance, as an end in and of itself,”
said Bea Grause, president of the Healthcare Association of New York.
“We believe a more important measure of good and meaningful policy
for all Americans would be their having not just the opportunity to buy
insurance, but to be able to afford meaningful health insurance coverage
that ensures access to quality health care services.”

Regardless of one’s view on the role of government, Larry Levine,
president of Blythedale Children’s Hospital, told the town hall
meeting that government “has the responsibility to protect kids,
so they can get the medical and preventative care they need to grow into
healthy adults, and to never turn away from sick and disabled children.”
He said proponents of the Republican bill do not talk about the impact
it would have on children> “We owe all children the chance to
have healthy starts to their lives, and to be treated when they are ill,
short or long-term. They have the right to be treated, and each and every
one of them, as if they were our children, because they are.”

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has predicted that 14 million
Americans would lose health care coverage under Trumpcare by the end of
2018, and 24 million would lose coverage by 2026.

Lowey, who strongly opposes the Republican plan, said “the President
and Congressional Republicans are moving as fast as possible to pass this
bill, apparently in hopes that Americans won’t realize its impact.”
She said Trumpcare “would result in 24 million Americans losing
coverage, eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, end Medicaid as we
know it, and force hardworking families and older New Yorkers to pay more
for less.”