"Hands Off Our Health Care"
As Congress prepares to vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, constituents representing labor and community groups gathered outside the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center in Newburgh to renew support for the Affordable Care Act and call upon Rep. Nan Hayworth to renounce her support for the repeal. The location was chosen because health care is a critical issue; however, the event was not sanctioned by the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center. The constituents cited additional funding as one of the many benefits, in addition to closing the Medicare Donut Hole and coverage for young people up the age of 26 under their parents’ insurance that would be endangered by repealing the 2010 health care law. Hayworth’s previous votes in support of Ryan Budget, which would privatize Medicare, were also criticized by constituents.
“Shame on Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, who once worked as a Health Care professional for voting to take away insurance benefits from people with pre existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke and even Alzheimers and Parkinson’s. Has she no conscience or mercy,” said Herbert Geller, a World War II Veteran and resident of North Salem.
“I was born with Apert’s syndrome, which consists of a fusing of the skull, hands and feet. It requires surgery on an ongoing basis to treat. What insurer would want to cover me or another person with Apert’s syndrome? Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions by insurers is already prohibited and in 2014 insurers will not be able to deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition,” said Bridgette Soto, a Pawling resident.
“The Affordable Health Care Law closes part of the enormous gap between the rich and working people in our country. We have a long way to go, but this is an important step for working people,” said Myrna Kemnitz, Orange County Legislator District for District 7 and member of the Orange County Legislative Health & Mental Health Committee.
“While we will continue to fight for national health care for all, nurses will also defend the gains we have made so far. So together with all of you, we say to the House—keep your hands off our health care!” said Mary Cudjoe of the 37,000 member New York State Nurses Association.
“As the father of a young adult who now can remain under my health insurance policy until she turns 26 years old, I understand the need of this act for the health and welfare of all our children. At a time when our young adults are finding it very difficult to find living wage jobs with benefits and our middle class workers are losing their jobs, the Affordable Care Act is essential for the health and welfare of the entire nation,” said Chris Eachus, Orange County Legislator for District 15 and a 6 year member of the Orange County Legislative Health & Mental Health Committee.
“Congresswoman Hayworth supports the Ryan Budget and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Both these positions are bad for New York’s seniors. The Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare by gradually closing the Donut Hole in the prescription drug program, which leaves seniors on the hook for thousands of dollars for their medications. The Ryan Budget ends Medicare as we know it by, establishing a voucher system that would leave seniors at the mercy of for-profit insurance companies,” said Dennis Tracey, Chester resident and President of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans, which represents 440,000 members.
“Americans are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act. Young people are covered by their parent’s health plans. Insurance companies are banned from limiting coverage for children with pre-existing conditions and imposing lifetime limits on your coverage. Insurance companies are subject to federal review of unreasonable premium increases and are now required to spend 80 percent to 85 percent of premium dollars on your health care (and not be used to increase profits or market share). If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, people will lose these rights and millions will never get the coverage they would receive under the Affordable Care Act,” said Beth Soto, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation.
“Why would a doctor be opposed to expanding health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans? Why would a doctor vote to end Medicare as we know it? These last two years have shown us what kind of Doctor Nan Hayworth is and it is time to send her back to private practice. It is time to stop using this doctor,” said Sparrow Tobin, Vice President of the Hudson Catskill Central Labor Council.
“Health care reform has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. It is time that the Tea Party, including Rep. Hayworth, give up on their fixation with “Obamacare” and let the law do its job. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will leave millions of Americans without coverage. Without the Affordable Care Act individuals are one medical catastrophe away from financial ruin. The labor movement has been fighting for health care for nearly a century. We do not want to have to fight another century for something so critical as health care,” said Paul Ellis-Graham, President of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, which represents over 113,000 union members from both the public and private sector.