Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
Tons of details are missing from President Donald Trump’s tax plan, but that hasn’t stopped Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo from assessing the potential damage to Long Islanders from Trump’s proposal to get rid of the federal deduction for state and local taxes.
Cuomo said it would cost about 950,000 taxpayers in Nassau and Suffolk counties some $4.3 billion — nearly $4,600 per taxpayer. His remarks came Thursday at a Melville event to sign a bill to require local governments to share services as a way to reduce property taxes. Cuomo said that’s even more important given Trump’s pending proposal.
“I’m going to go to Washington and do whatever I have to do, yell and scream and lay myself on the floor of the Congress,” Cuomo said, “but this is a real possibility, and that’s why this issue is more critical than ever before.”
Left unsaid: Any savings from shared services plans won’t come close to $4,600.
Jack Martins, the GOP candidate for Nassau County executive, has come out swinging against the leading Democratic contender, county Legis. Laura Curran. The former state senator accused her of using county resources to mount her campaign, including having a podium with the county seal delivered to her lawn for a Tuesday news conference.
But the spokeswoman for the legislature’s minority, Lauren Corcoran-Doolin, said Curran often carts the podium to off-site locations. The Tuesday news conference was government business, she said, and it was held at the home of a Baldwin taxpayer, not at Curran’s Baldwin home.
Martins said he podium undercuts Curran’s outspokenness about eliminating most taxpayer-funded government mailers and fliers because she claims they’re mostly political. “There’s a certain level of inconsistency, some would say hypocrisy, in it,” Martins told The Point. “Be consistent in your righteous indignation.”
This contest could get pretty rough, pretty early.
Happy National Cartoonists Day!
Tale of two LI GOP reps
Call it a tale of two Long Island Republican representatives who voted for the GOP’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare based on very different rationales.
The 1st District’s Lee Zeldin is an unapologetic opponent of the Affordable Care Act who issued a full-throated (and multi-page) endorsement highlighting the weaknesses of Obamacare and the strengths of the bill the GOP-controlled House passed Thursday.
Said Zeldin in the news release: “I have always supported the repeal and replace of Obamacare and a smooth transition to a better reality that will improve affordability, access, quality of care and options . . . The American Health Care Act provides relief from billions of dollars of crushing taxes and mandates enacted under the ACA. Additionally, the bill repeals the individual and employer mandates, taxes on prescription and over-the-counter medications, health insurance premiums and medical devices.”
But Rep. Peter King, in the 2nd District, voted for the bill after a lot of uncertainty about where he would land, even though he clearly opposes it in its present form. King told NBC that he voted yes to “move the bill forward.” He said on his Facebook page Thursday that the bill needs big changes in the Senate, adding, “The main improvement I will be working with Senators on is increasing the Medicaid Expansion reimbursement to New York State to 100 percent in 2020 and beyond.”
And King told Newsday that if the Senate can’t protect the Medicaid expansion, the termination of which was a main point of the AHCA, “We can always vote no when it comes back” to the House.
But if King and his moderate pals get the changes they need to support the final version of the bill, would the staunch conservatives, and Zeldin, still support it?
Who knew health care could be so complicated?