Claudia Borecky, President
North & Central Merrick Civic Association
On June 22, 2017, the Governor’s Office hosted a forum at Hofstra University with a panel of experts who discussed how the proposed American Healthcare Act would impact healthcare for New Yorkers.
It was a very informative meeting. We learned that the AHCA would include $7 billion in cuts from New York’s healthcare system – effectively eliminating the Essential Plan, devastating our hospitals, and forcing major staffing cuts during a time when we need more, not less, doctors and nurses.
We found it interesting that the Affordable Health Care Act has halved the number of uninsured New Yorkers to 5%. We learned that not only is the healthcare industry the largest employer on Long Island, but it is also responsible for the largest number of construction jobs as well. Experts claimed that if money is cut to the hospitals and healthcare providers, building new and improved facilities will end. Some hospitals will be forced to close. As people will still need healthcare, it was predicted that waiting time in our emergency rooms will be more than doubled. And those with private insurance will see premiums skyrocket.
Several of the panelists expressed their concern that the proposed healthcare act does not address the factors that
make healthcare costs so high, such as the cost of drugs in the United States.
The panel was comprised of the following:
Commissioner James Dolan – County Office Of Mental Health and Hygiene
Carol Waldman – Glen Cove Senior Center
David Nemiroff – Long Island FQHC
Jaqueline Delmont – Delmont Medical Center
JoAnn Smith – Planned Parenthood of Nassau County
Lawrence Smith – Hofstra Medical Center
Maria Cuadra – COPAY
Ram Raju MD, MBA, FACP – Northwell Health
Ruth Zaporta – Consumer
Stacy Villigran – Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council