Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Holds Health Care Town Halls in Rockland and Westchester

March 20, 2017
Press Release

Lowey, Experts Discussed Impact of Affordable Care Act Repeal

More Than 1 Million New Yorkers Could Lose Insurance

Westchester Would Lose $8.1 Million, Rockland $2 Million in Tax Dollars

White Plains, NY – Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-Rockland/Westchester), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, today held two Health Care Town Halls in Rockland and Westchester to discuss the dangerous Republican legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Congresswoman Lowey met with constituents and local health care experts about the effects this plan would have on families in the Lower Hudson Valley.

“Speaker Ryan has called for a ‘Better Way,’ but his health care plan is clearly the wrong way for New Yorkers,” said Lowey. “The President and Congressional Republicans are moving as fast as possible to pass this bill, apparently in hopes that Americans won’t realize its impact. Trumpcare would result in 24 million Americans losing coverage, eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, end Medicaid as we know it, and force hardworking families and older New Yorkers to pay more for less coverage.  Lives hang in the balance, and Lower Hudson Valley families deserve the opportunity to discuss this legislation before the House takes a vote.”

The town halls at Fieldstone Middle School in Thiells and White Plains High School in White Plains covered important data on the impacts of the Republican proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is expected to be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives next week. Congresswoman Lowey discussed with constituents and health care experts how many New Yorkers could lose coverage, reductions in coverage, increased costs of insurance, loss of subsidies to purchase insurance, and harm to Medicaid and Medicare under the Republican plan. The events were livestreamed on Congresswoman Lowey's Facebook page.

"Cuts to Medicaid would take away medical care, compromise critical services and jeopardize millions of Americans, putting their health and their lives at risk,” said Jill Warner, CEO of Jawonio, Inc. "For many people with disabilities and mental health challenges at Jawonio and similar organizations, Medicaid cuts as proposed, would threaten access to essential services that support our most vulnerable citizens to exercise their basic human right to live, work and participate in the community."

Bea Grause, President of the Healthcare Association of New York State, said, "Supporters of this bill urge that it would allow individuals to have access to buying insurance, as an end in and of itself. We believe a more important measure of good and meaningful policy for all Americans would be their having not just the opportunity to buy insurance, but to be able to afford meaningful health insurance coverage that ensures access to quality health care services.  True coverage matters. Congresswoman Lowey understand the critical importance to health care coverage and is fighting to protect it for millions of Americans." 

"No matter what your view on the role of government, I think we can all agree  that it has the responsibility to protect kids, so they can get the medical and preventative care they need to grow into healthy adults, and to never turn away from sick and disabled children," said Larry Levine, President and CEO of Blythedale Children's Hospital. "Proponents don't talk about the impact of the proposed American Health Care Act on kids. And the silence about the devastating impact of federal Medicaid cuts on kids won’t make the problem go away. We owe all children the chance to have healthy starts to their lives, and to be treated when they are ill, short or long-term. They have the right to be treated, each and every one of them, as if they were our children, because they are."

Last week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that 14 million Americans would lose health care coverage under Trumpcare by the end of 2018, and 24 million would lose coverage by 2026. According to a New York State Department of Health report, more than 1 million New Yorkers would face a significant loss of coverage under the Republican plan, and more than $4.5 billion in costs would be shifted to state, counties and safety net hospitals over the next four years. Westchester could lose $8.1 million while Rockland could lose $2 million.

Other effects of Republicans’ Trumpcare proposal include:

  • Families would pay more for fewer protections. Under Trumpcare, working families’ premiums and deductibles could increase by hundreds to thousands of dollars. Individuals purchasing insurance could see premiums increase by 15 to 20 percent.
  • Older Americans would pay an age tax, and life of Medicare Trust Fund would be shortened. Under Trumpcare, older Americans could pay premiums five times higher than what young people pay for health coverage.  The GOP bill also would shorten the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by four years. 
  • Planned Parenthood would be defunded.  While instituting radical new restrictions on women’s rights to comprehensive health coverage, Trumpcare also defunds Planned Parenthood.  Women with nowhere else to turn would lose access to essential preventative care and affordable contraception.
  • GOP Bill would destroy Medicaid as we know it. Trumpcare would destroy Medicaid as we know it by capping and slashing the program.  As a result, the GOP bill would severely hurt the 70 million Americans who rely on Medicaid, including seniors with long-term care needs, Americans with disabilities, pregnant women, and vulnerable children.

Republicans have campaigned on repealing the ACA for seven years since it was enacted, but only revealed their so-called replacement plan last week. Now, President Trump and Republican Leadership are trying to jam Trumpcare through Congress. Speaker Ryan and Congressional Republicans steamrolled their Trumpcare proposal through two House Committees less than 72 hours after it was introduced last week, before a cost or impact analysis could be completed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, the House held 79 bipartisan hearings and markups on health insurance reform in 2009 and 2010, and the original House version of the Affordable Care Act was posted online for 30 days before the bill was first considered in committee.

Congresswoman Lowey has long been a champion of providing all Americans with affordable health care. She supported the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and is a tireless advocate for expanding women’s access to health services and family planning. Lowey has worked successfully to nearly triple the NIH budget since she joined the House Appropriations Committee, and as Ranking Member, continues to work hard toward commonsense solutions that build on the progress of the Affordable Care Act so that every American has quality, affordable health care.