Courtesy of the New York Congressional Delegation
Queens elected officials, including Democratic Party leaders like Reps. Grace Meng and Joe Crowley, signed the letter that was sent last week to then-President-elect Trump at Trump Tower in Midtown.
By Forum Staff
Members of the New York Congressional Delegation have urged President Donald Trump to consider “the catastrophic negative impacts” a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) would have on the state as Republicans “continue to dismantle” the law.
According to 18 Empire State elected officials, repeal would cause more than 2.7 million New Yorkers to lose health insurance coverage.
“From Manhattan to Massena, New Yorkers reject this starkly ideological plan to repeal the ACA that would throw our entire health care system into disarray and not solve the real problems that families face,” the members of Congress wrote in jointly signed letter to the Queens-native Trump. “We implore you to discontinue efforts to repeal this life-saving law.”
Of the missive’s 18 signatories, eight represent Queens communities: U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, Grace Meng, Nydia Velazquez, Carolyn Maloney, Yvette Clarke, Greg Meeks, Joe Crowley, and Tom Suozzi.
A repudiation of Obamacare would be devastating for hospitals in the state, the New York representatives said, and would cause a $24 billion budget shortfall. Rural hospitals in particular would be under enormous financial pressure and could be forced to close their doors, leaving many without access to care, the pols said. In addition, families would again be subject to annual and lifetime limits and could be denied care for a pre-existing condition. Due to a reopening of the “donut hole,” which the ACA closes, New York seniors would face an increase in prescription drug costs totaling $1,195 annually for each beneficiary.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, most plans with Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) have a coverage gap, or “donut hole.” This means that after you and your drug plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered drugs, you have to pay all costs out-of-pocket for your prescriptions up to a yearly limit. Once you have spent up to the yearly limit, your coverage gap ends and your drug plan helps pay for covered drugs again.
“We implore you to consider both the economic and social impacts of repeal on the businesses and families of New York,” the pols wrote in the note that was sent earlier this month to Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. “The people of New York look to their elected representatives to protect their wellbeing. As such, we ought to make every effort to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and the progress it has shepherded for the people of this great state. The Affordable Care Act has reduced the burden of health care costs for hard-working families across New York State.”
On Friday, Trump signed an Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.
“It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended,” Trump declared. “In the meantime, pending such repeal, it is imperative for the executive branch to ensure that the law is being efficiently implemented, take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”