August 21, 2017
NYSARA Activists Visit Congressman Donovan (R/Staten Island)
On Thursday August 17th NYSARA President Barry Kaufmann, Board member Michael Tutrone (TWU Local 100) and Activist Carl Pato met with Congressman Dan Donovan. (R/Staten Island). Topics discussed included the House/Black Budget, Fixing the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and ideas that work for people and ways to save money while maintaining services.
All NYSARA activists that attended agreed that the Congressman was responsive and we had a productive dialogue. President Kaufmann thanked Congressman Donovan for his vote against the AHCA in the House, one of only two Republican representatives from New York that voted against. (John Katko, R/Syracuse being the other). In his press release on the AHCA Congressman Donovan cited the Medicaid cuts and their effects on his constituents and hospitals in his district as well as the Faso Collins amendment, the impact raising the cost of healthcare for seniors to 5 times what a young healthy person pays to get coverage as reasons he could not support the AHCA.. He also took a position on drug costs being one of the major drivers of rising health care costs and proposed price negotiation as a method to mitigate rising costs. This position put him out in the forefront and is a solution the ARA supports and has promoted.
A discussion on the bi partisan House problem solvers caucus plans to stabilize the markets and address immediate issues with the ACA ensued. (Details of the caucuses proposals are detailed in the article below) The Congressman supports enabling small businesses to band together in a consortium to lower costs, a position NYSARA finds positive since it would lower costs and increase the possibility of more small businesses providing insurance to their workers and retirees.
Finally, the house budget proposal was discussed and we pointed out the pitfalls of this legislation to Seniors. A spirited discussion on the house budget plan where the Congressman seemed to acknowledge that he hadn’t thought about some of the proposals in the ways that NYSARA analyzed them and a willingness to really consider his positions seemed to be a hallmark of our discussion.