Rep. Faso responds to criticisms, concerns about repealing, replacing ACA

March 23, 2017 12:01 PM

HUDSON - Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) plans to vote in favor of the Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama.

“I think it’s going to be very close. It could go either way,” said Faso.

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Faso spoke to NewsChannel 13 over Skype Wednesday and explained an amendment to the Republican's American Health Care Act he and Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence) introduced, which would shift Medicaid costs from New York counties to the state.

Currently, counties in the state use local taxes to pay for Medicaid.

“New York can no longer fund partially its Medicaid program from the real property tax,” Faso said. “It can't be sticking this Medicaid bill on the backs of homeowners and small businesses throughout our state.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo railed against the amendment and the Republican plan to repeal the ACA in several press releases, saying it would cost hospitals across the state millions in funding -- specifically, $13.7 million for 13 hospitals in the 19th Congressional District, which Faso represents.

“You have to look at your local hospitals and say how much they are going to lose,” said Carol Peckham, chair of the Affordable Care Task Force of the Columbia County Democratic Committee. “How many more patients are they going to have in the emergency room that can't pay now?”

Cuomo also said the Republican plan to repeal the ACA would cost the state $6.9 billion and result in loss of coverage for 2.7 million New Yorkers.

Peckham says the damage repealing the ACA could do outweighs any savings for taxpayers in Faso's amendment.

“He's stuck a little amendment into the bill but it makes no difference in terms of the damage that at that is going to do to our healthcare system,” Peckham said.

Faso admits the Republican bill is not perfect but said it is a start to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

“There are some people here that want perfection from their vantage point,” Faso said. “And that is simply not attainable. I'm looking to try to improve the system,” he said.

Faso also said the state could afford to cover Medicaid costs under his amendment if the Cuomo administration would cut wasteful spending.

He said the Republican health care bill does not get rid of every aspect of the ACA and keeps parts that are beneficial.


Nia Hamm

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