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Curran: Senate health bill would be ‘devastating’ for Nassau

Democratic Nassau county executive candidate Laura Curran holds

Democratic Nassau county executive candidate Laura Curran holds a news conference on Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Oceanside. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Roughly 15,000 Nassau County women could be denied access to Planned Parenthood services, while tens of thousands more could see cuts to Medicaid if Senate Republicans pass their health care bill, according to Democratic county executive candidate Laura Curran.

At a news conference at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, Curran, a second-term legislator from Baldwin, detailed the “devastating consequences” for Nassau residents if the Senate bill is enacted, including major cuts to Medicaid that could force the closure of some nursing homes.

Locally, Curran said, Medicaid cuts could prevent some county residents from seeking treatment for heroin or opioid addiction. In addition, some Planned Parenthood clinics in Nassau could be forced to close their doors because of a lack of funding, she said.

Nationwide, Medicaid pays for about two-thirds of elderly residents in nursing homes and provides health care for nearly 60 percent of children with disabilities.

“Donald Trump and Washington Republicans are putting us in a lose-lose situation,” Curran said. “This bill, and any repeal [of the Affordable Care Act] without a reasonable and comprehensive replacement, will deprive health care from too many of our residents, provide no economic relief and will negatively affect our county finances.”

Senate Republicans late last month delayed a vote on their bill as they try to cobble together GOP support.

Curran, who pledged to work with state and federal officials to secure additional county health care funding, also cautioned that the repeal of Obamacare could lead to job cuts for the 218,000 Nassau residents employed in the health care field.

“That’s something we can’t put at risk,” Curran said. “It makes us economically viable as a region and that’s something that benefits every since Nassau resident.”

State officials have estimated that roughly 10 percent of Nassau’s population, or about 133,324 residents, could lose their health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

County Comptroller George Maragos, who will challenge Curran in a September Democratic primary, accused Curran of staging a “political stunt on issues over which the county executive has no control.”

Former State Sen. Jack Martins, the GOP county executive candidate, said, “Everyone knows that Trumpcare and Obamacare are broken and need to be fixed. All Nassau County families, including our seniors, deserve quality affordable health care. But we need to work together to find solutions and not play politics with this issue.”

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