East End Beacon

Letter To The Editor:  Zeldin Wrong Again on the BCRA

Congressman Lee Zeldin at a New York League of Conservation Voters forum in Riverhead this fall.
Congressman Lee Zeldin at a forum in Riverhead last fall.

Dear Beth:

The CBO has scored the Senate Republicans’ proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  According to the CBO analysis, the Senate bill would leave 22 million people without health care coverage over the next decade.  By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured. 

Trump cheerleaders took to the airwaves last Sunday in an effort to mischaracterize the contours of the BCRA to hide its flaws.  Our Congressman, Lee Zeldin, was one of them.  His task – to make believe the BCRA does not cut Medicaid benefits.  Taking a page from the Kellyanne Conway playbook, his attempt was nothing but “alternative facts.”

Under the Senate’s bill – the Better Care Reconciliation Act — federal spending on Medicaid would drop by 26 percent over current spending projections, or $772 billion, over the next decade, according to the CBO analysis.  This drop in spending occurs mainly because the Senate bill phases out federal funds for states to expand Medicaid and puts annual caps on federal Medicaid dollars to states.  The social impact is drastic; by 2026, the CBO estimates that 15 million fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid than projected under the ACA.  Currently, more than 74 million low-income and disabled people are Medicaid beneficiaries.

Further, Zeldin said that eventually, everyone who wants health insurance will have access to it, but it will take some time.  Some time?  Mr. Zeldin is out of touch in his attempt to fabricate a favorable view of healthcare access under the BCRA. 

Here is just one example.  According to the CBO, under the ACA, a 64 year-old making $56,800 would pay a premium of some $6,800, before any tax subsidy.  In stark contrast, under the BCRA, that person’s premium would rise to $20,500.  Previously, Mr. Zeldin pointed to allegedly skyrocketing premiums as one of the factors that created a “crisis” requiring the repeal of the ACA.  Now he stands before us trying to justify a “replacement” that would saddle that 64 year-old with a 400% higher premium that would be nearly half his income!

It is time for this hypocrisy to end.

Sincerely,

Bruce Colbath
East Hampton

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Comments ( 4 )

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  1. Frank Dalene July 10, 2017 Reply

    The hypocrisy is that healthcare somehow became a free entitlement of the People. Who will pay for that? Hold on to your wallets because the government will need to tax all working People into oblivion to pay for that. Oh, the hypocrisy is to tax the rich to pay for it but there isn’t enough money if the government took all the money from the rich. As an employer I’ve paid and provided a platinum healthcare plan to all our employees for 40 years as a benefit of employment. The buck stops with me, the employer. That’s where the hypocrisy ends. That my dear friends is the way to pay for healthcare. The safety net is for the government to provide healthcare only for those who absolutely cannot work.

  2. Wendy Anne July 10, 2017 Reply

    The Republican Wealthcare Plan is barbaric and inhumane, and so is Rep. Zeldin’s support of it. How can our congressman not care about the devastation this plan would cause our local communities? $38.8 million in cuts for 20 nursing homes, and $41.2 million in cuts for 7 hospitals in Zeldin’s congressional district alone would put 342,200 community members at risk of losing their healthcare coverage, 121,402 nursing home residents at risk of losing the Medicaid that pays the nursing home bill, and 17,163 nursing home and hospital jobs in jeopardy. Zeldin needs to stop repeating the lies of his wealthy donors while protecting their pocketbooks, and instead start looking out for CD-1’s residents and communities.

  3. Kathleen DeVine July 11, 2017 Reply

    Yes, Lee Zeldin seems to have a completely different agenda than his constituents.

  4. Francesca July 11, 2017 Reply

    Frank Dalene — Medicare For All would save $650 billion a year from costs now being paid into the insurance companies’ fat bottom lines, executive salaries, advertising and overhead costs plus all the waste time and money being spent by providers on trying to get the insurers to cough up the care they are supposed to cover. And it would mean Americans would start paying the lower prices for pharmaceuticals all the other countries do, because the “single payer” would have bargaining power. If every other industrialized nation can provide better healthcare at much lower cost than the US, what makes you think America can’t?

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