FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2017
Contact: Liuba Grechen Shirley
New York’s 2nd District Democrats
NY-02 Constituents Rally, Tell Rep. Peter King to Vote NO to ACHA!
Save our Health Care!
March 22, 2017, Massapequa Park, NY – On the eve of the expected U.S. House vote on President Trump’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, residents of NY’s Congressional District 2 rallied outside of Rep. Peter King’s office in opposition to the American Health Care Act. With chants of “hands off our health care” the Long Island residents rallied to urge their congressman to reject Trump’s American Health Care Act (AHCA).
According to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, 2.7 million New York State residents would face a loss of their current health coverage if the AHCA is adopted. The Center for American Progress estimates that 73,400 residents of King’s Long Island district would lose their health insurance if the AHCA becomes law.
“Over 10% of Peter King’s constituents would lose their health care coverage under the AHCA,” said Liuba Grechen Shirley, founder and director of the New York’s District 2 Democrats, the lead organization of the rally. “That is unconscionable. Mr. King is charged to protect these citizens, he must vote NO tomorrow on the AHCA.”
King had been leaning against the AHCA but after reports surfaced that President Trump singled out King in a meeting because he had also grown up in Queens, King reportedly said it would be hard for him to vote against the bill. In an effort to sway New York State Republicans, House leadership added a last-minute New York- specific change to shift the cost of Medicaid coverage from the counties to the state government. The measure would move the cost to state taxpayers or deny New York State federal aid for Medicaid.
“In a craven effort to gain votes for this disastrous bill, House Republicans have singled out New York State for a dangerous shell game at the expense of NY’s taxpayers. This will disproportionately hurt Nassau and Suffolk county residents,” said Grechen Shirley.
Many of King’s constituents were driven to rally because they will be personally affected if the AHCA is adopted. “As someone with a pre-existing condition whose access to affordable health care is at stake, I’m insulted that Peter King would suggest that his vote on such critical legislation can be dictated by a minor gesture from President Trump,” said Brendan Cunningham of Babylon. “Trivializing Thursday's vote does a disservice to us as constituents, especially the seventy thousand folks whose health care hangs in the balance."
“Donald Trump’s campaign promise was to replace the Affordable Care Act with ‘something terrific,’” said Grechen Shirley. “Denying millions of US Citizens health care is not ‘terrific’ by any measure and the last-minute tactics by the House Republicans is Washington politics at its worst. The New York State amendment injects partisan politics directly into the health care bill, using New York State taxpayers' access to healthcare in a game of chicken with the State government. So much for 'draining the swamp.'"
“As a social worker, I serve the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Katie Twomey of Nassau County. “Many of my clients live with developmental disabilities, severe and persistent mental illness, and other chronic conditions and rely on Medicaid to pay for critical healthcare services. By converting Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement and funding match to a per capita cap the AHCA will cut funding to vital services and disproportionately affect people with disabilities. The National Association of Social Workers has unequivocally stated their opposition to the AHCA and I’m in agreement. We are ethically obligated to care for all people and this bill does nothing of the sort."
“My sister is disabled and depends on Medicaid for her services. When she gets older we'll need Medicaid to pay for long-term housing, otherwise I would have to quit my job to take care of her. I'm the breadwinner in my family so that's not an option. Losing Medicaid would ruin our lives,” said Meagan, another member of New York’s 2nd District Democrats from Bohemia.
New York’s 2nd District Democrats (NY02Dems) is a constituent-based group dedicated to reenergizing the Democratic base, mobilizing district two residents, flipping our district, and ensuring that President Trump’s election is the spark that ignites the strongest, most unified social justice movement our country has ever seen.