Grief and outrage are prompting this op-ed. Eleven Jews have been murdered in an outburst of anti-Semitic hatred in a Pittsburgh synagogue; fourteen pipe bombs were sent to prominent Democrats across the country only three days earlier; and sandwiched in between, an elderly black man and woman were shot and killed in front of a Kroger grocery store in Jefferson, Kentucky. All in the week prior to the November 6 elections.
Elise Stefanik, the Republican Congresswoman who represents the Adirondack North Country of upper New York, a rural area covering close to one-third of the state, is averse to holding town hall meetings in her district. In fact, she has broadcast questionable reports that her staff members have been verbally assaulted and abused by constituents seeking to talk to her and pressing for town halls. Her alternative has been to conduct a series of small and brief group meetings in her regional offices with North Country residents to hear their concerns and complaints. On March 3rd, it was our group’s turn.
I – Present Status: The New York Health Act, or single payer health bill, would seem to be a “no-brainer”, offering something beneficial for all health care stakeholders in the State: universal health coverage for all New York residents; and large projected cost savings for employers, for small and large business owners, for State and county governments, and for all those insured under the New York plan. Yet its passage in the legislature and enactment into law are no sure things. It was first introduced in the Assembly by its long-term sponsor, Richard Gottfried, in 1992; gestated for twenty-three years in its Health Committee until 2015, when it was first passed; made it through the Assembly again last year; and now, in 2017, has a good chance of passage by the Assembly and making it to the floor of the State Senate, but currently languishes in the Senate’s Health Committee.
The American Health Care Act: The Republicans’ Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare — Meta-Analysis & Brief Summary by Jack Carney, DSW
Part I – Meta-Analysis: The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republicans’ long-awaited repeal and replacement of Obamacare, not only represents the fulfillment of Speaker Ryan’s and his Conservative and Tea Party members’ wish to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but is an attack on our social safety net and, more importantly, on the power of the Federal Government to mandate compliance by the States with safety net legislation. The principal targets of the attack, Medicaid, the largest safety net program outside of Social Security and Medicare, and the ACA itself contain mandates that the Republicans and the States they govern have resisted from the outset. More on this below. As for Planned Parenthood, the other program singled out, its loss of access to Medicaid reimbursement in the next fiscal year is more a consequence of the animus held against it by religious fundamentalists, who themselves oppose most if not all government regulation.
It is a truism that America has become a more diverse country. It is also a beautiful thing to watch. Visitors from other countries, particularly those having trouble incorporating different ethnic groups and faiths, are amazed that we manage to pull it off. Not perfectly, of course, but certainly better than any European or Asian nation today. It’s an extraordinary success story.
Dr. Carney’s most recent posts are to be found here, along with a mostly complete archive of all articles he has written since his retirement from professional social work practice in 2010. All his blogs have as their focus issues pertaining to social justice; are generally placed in their historical context; and, ultimately, are subjected to in-depth analyses whose aim is to promote a full understanding of the issues being addressed.