Two articles by Rick Miller, one in the Olean Times Hearld and one in the Salamanca Press, both dated June 28, caught my eye.
The Salamanca Press article was a summary of Reed’s Monday conference call with district reporters. You can hear the full 21 minute conference WRFA-Radio via Soundcloud if you want to put up with his buzz words and catch phrases, and not answering the question until it has been asked more than once. Reed wanted to start the press call on a positive note, and praised himself for supporting grants for Business Incubators in the budget talks. He claimed that the NY23rd’s incubators had shown “real success” and list incubators:
Incubator Works (Ithaca), Technology Farm (Geneva), Southern Tier Start Up Alliance, Fredonia Technology Incubator, Western Finger Lakes Incubator Hot Spot.
Later in the interview he was asked how do you measure the success of the incubators since a lot of business “start” and fail. Reed reported that data that shows how the incubator model is a good investment. He didn’t have the numbers to support that with him, but would provide them.
The reporters wanted to keep the discussion about Health Care. Miller asked Reed if he had figured out how many people in the NY23rd would lose health care coverage if the Senate’s proposal passed. Miller was kind to Reed–he didn’t print all of the buzz words– “bean counters”, “status quo of big government one size fits all”, “Obamacare isn’t working”, he is “working to make sure that not a single person goes without health care”, “giving access to have health care”, “we are empowering the people”, “the government closest to the people is the best type”, that was used answering Miller’s question.
Miller, being an experienced journalist, asked the question again, in a different form, “So you don’t know how people many in your district would lose their health care.” Reed answered that he has heard different estimates, including “high-end of 100’s of thousands to the low-end of much less than that.” It was obvious to me that Reed was pulling answers out of thin air. Miller used the 100,000 figure and analyzed how harmful that would be to the NY23rd.
Miller also reported on Reed’s comments about Medicaid, Governor Cuomo’s letter urging the New York congression delegation to defeat the Senate health plan, and the Collins-Faso’s NYS-only Medicaid amendment.
Miller’s Olean Times Herald article was about how the “Senate, House republican health care bill would hurt the Upper Allegheny Health System.” The UAHS president and CEO Timothy Finan blasts Reed and the Congress by pointing out that uninsured will use hospital emergency room as their primary care option, the Medicaid rates are already below health costs and being reduced, and older people will need to pay higher insurance premiums.
Miller ends by quoting Finan, “They are trying to ramrod it down our throats.”
Both of Miller’s articles gives us information on how the GOP’s proposals will affect us. Reed’s messages defending the GOP Health Plan are weak talking points that confuse most of us.