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Hudson Valley health officials have plenty to say about vote in DC

Mar 22, 2017 12:03 am

House Majority Leader Paul Ryan hopes to get a vote on the American Health Care Act, or Trumpcare, by this Thu., March 23. Last week Rep. John Faso (R-Kingston) got the bill out of his committee, casting the deciding vote. Faso hasn't said yet, but there's no reason to believe he will not vote for the bill when it reaches the House floor. Paul Kirby at the Daily Freeman rounds up other opinions around the Hudson Valley about the proposed replacement to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Last week Ulster County Executive Michael Hein issued an executive order to create a report on the impact if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. David Scarpino, president and chief executive officer of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, with two hospital campuses in Kingston, said, “We would be concerned about any federal cuts that affect safety-net hospitals, such as cuts in Medicaid reimbursements, because of the fragile financial condition of those institutions, including ours.” Health Quest operates the Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck and Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, among other facilities, and Chief Financial Officer Gary Zmrhal said, “There should be no hurry,” Zmrhal said. “I don’t know why they are rushing into this thing when it is so important to the country. ... They should take one step at a time." Director Karen Scharff of Citizen Action, an activist group in Kingston, said, “Congressman Faso will have to decide whose side he’s on this week. Will he vote to give billions in tax breaks to insurance CEOs and the super-rich, or will he protect our health care?” Read the full story at the Daily Freeman.
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