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Daily Point

Saga of a health care vote

Health care providers on Long Island and in New York City are intensely lobbying three local GOP congressmen to vote no on the package of health care bills due for a vote on Thursday. The results are mixed so far.

Rep. Lee Zeldin has come out in favor of a controversial amendment that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said could devastate Medicaid funding in New York. In fact, Cuomo is sending out successive news releases by congressional district regarding how much money hospitals would lose.

However, the lobbying hasn’t worked with Zeldin. In a statement Wednesday afternoon, he called an amendment from Rep. Chris Collins that would make Albany responsible to fund much of Medicaid “the single greatest act of fiscal relief ever provided to the County of Suffolk and its taxpayers.”

Rep. Peter King, who is undecided on the legislation, told The Point in an interview Wednesday afternoon that while the amendment would be a “short-term benefit to Nassau and Suffolk counties,” the plan at large has “pluses and minuses all over the place.”

With a key health care staffer out with the flu for the past few days, King said he has been going through the last-minute changes himself, weighing how the plan affects “people on the margins.” As for what King called “organized opposition” from advocates on both sides? “That doesn’t influence me much,” he said.

Meanwhile Brooklyn-Staten Island Rep. Dan Donovan seems to be leaning to a no vote.

Read a letter here signed by the top executives of most Long Island providers opposing the legislation.

Rita Ciolli and Mark Chiusano

Deja vu Point

What a prop

Gary Ackerman, a former member of Congress and the State Senate, stopped by the editorial board Tuesday and brought with him a framed copy of a veto message from New York’s governor.

Nassau County wanted to build some roads. State lawmakers approved the required legislation. But the governor vetoed it, pointing out the county’s request to give out some of the contracts without competitive bidding.

“There is no reason why such authority should be given to a single entity, and in addition grave abuse might arise under it. The bill is therefore disapproved,” the governor wrote in his message.

The governor was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And he vetoed the bill 88 years ago this week — on March 20, 1929.

The more things change . . .

Michael Dobie

Pencil Point

No surprise here

Bonus Point

A lot of people don’t know that . . .

President Donald Trump revealed some fresh intel at a fundraising dinner for House Republicans Tuesday night: that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

“Great president,” Trump said. “Most people don’t even know he was a Republican. Right? Does anyone know? A lot of people don’t know that.”

Many people are saying that people also don’t know Andrew Johnson and Andrew Jackson were different people, let alone presidents.

Most have not yet discovered that Fifth Avenue runs south, but check it out.

Others are becoming more and more aware of the holiday celebrated on July Fourth, not to mention the fact that there are three branches of government, which have done an amazing job.

There is a dawning national realization about calculus’ difficulty — nobody knew it could be so complicated.

And of course, most people are shocked to learn that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had ties to Russia.

Mark Chiusano


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