By Bill Parry
Congressional Democrats were handed new ammunition in their battle against against the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill Monday when the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office released its analysis that shows 14 million Americans would be stripped of their insurance next year, and more than 24 million would lose their coverage in the the next 10 years.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) warned that under the GOP bill a 64-year-old in the individual market with an income of $26,000 would pay a total of $12,900 in premiums each year.
“For New Yorkers, this bill is an especially bad deal,” Maloney said. “The GOP bill will eliminate federal funding for our state’s Essential Plan, taking away a popular and successful insurance option for more than 600,000 of our neighbors who don’t qualify for Medicaid but still need help affording insurance. It means hard hits to New York City hospitals that will lose much needed federal funding that they have gained through Medicaid expansion. It means billions of dollars of loss to New York State as the Medicaid federal contribution is reduced over time from 90 percent to 50 percent, forcing New York to cut back care for older Americans, children, and individuals with disabilities.”
The GOP bill would also hit women’s healthcare, according to Maloney.
“Millions of women across the country will lose access to care, including cancer screenings, contraceptives and family planning services, because the Republican bill cuts all federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a full year,” she said.
Maloney said the “disastrous bill” is a merciless attack on the most vulnerable.
“It is simply unacceptable and I will not stop fighting until we have a real solution for providing affordable healthcare for all Americans,” she said.
Meanwhile, the congresswoman reintroduced a bipartisan bill to make gun trafficking a federal offense last week. Her legislation would impose stronger penalties for “straw purchasers” who buy guns for convicted felons and others who are prohibited from buying guns on their own.
“We have made it too hard for law enforcement to stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals and too easy for criminals to get their hands on guns,” Maloney said. “Congress has the responsibility to equip law enforcement with the stricter laws prohibiting gun trafficking that they have told us time and again told us they need. The bipartisan Gun Trafficking Prevention Act would provide these tools and help put offenders behind bars.”
Maloney introduced another measure that would increase and improve Holocaust education in the United States. Her Simon Weisenthal Holocaust Education Assistance Act would support educational organizations’ work to teach students about the Holocaust and its lessons for contemporary conflict. It authorizes the U.S. Department of Education to award grants funded by private donations to nonprofit educational organizations.
“The Nazi regime brutally massacred 6 million European Jews and millions of others, including gypsies, individuals with disabilities and mental illness, members of the LGBT community, political enemies and others,” Maloney said. “More than 11 million people were systematically murdered in the Holocaust as the Nazis swept across Europe, destroying entire villages and communities.”
She cited the recent outbreak of threats against Jewish institutions as evidence that anti-Semitism persists more than 70 years after the Holocaust.
“Combating anti-Semitism and any kind of hate-driven crime must be a multi-pronged effort,” Maloney said. “While we rely on law enforcement to keep us safe and bring the perpetrators to justice, we must also engage in community education efforts to stop the hatred before it starts or escalates.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr