Progress?

Reprinted from the Letters to the Editor section of the East Hampton Star: May 12, 2017

Dear David:

In a moment of unvarnished candor, the East Hampton Republicans have already given you information that should convince you to vote for the Democratic slate of candidates for the East Hampton Town Board.

On the East Hampton G.O.P.’s Facebook page, against the backdrop of dozens of laughing G.O.P. congressmen and with Mr. Trump (only one woman was permitted in the picture) celebrating the House G.O.P.’s passage of the American Health Care Act, the East Hampton G.O.P. makes its pledge: “If you want progress like what’s happening in Washington then you should vote for (the G.O.P. slate for town board).”

Let that sink in for a moment. That “Washington” just took an ax to America’s health care system, slashing health coverage for most of us just to pay for a $1 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. This “progress” threatens children, the elderly (50+ years old), the poor, and nonwhite Americans with the loss of health care coverage. Indeed, more than 24 million Americans are predicted to lose health care coverage through this “progress,” and, for the elderly and the sick, costs will skyrocket.

This “progress” will also punish women by depriving them of health care services (like routine examinations and cancer screening they previously obtained from Planned Parenthood). This “progress” slashes $880 million in funding for Medicaid, punishing the poor and elderly. Most perniciously, veterans are threatened with the loss of health care coverage under the “progress” offered by the G.O.P.’s health care act.

Washington’s idea of progress will next take an ax to make further cuts in Medicaid, and cuts are proposed for Medicare and Social Security. Our pristine beaches are threatened by offshore oil rigs. Our air and water will be fouled by noxious waste from reduced Clean Air and Water Act protection.

It’s hard to understand why the East Hampton Republicans are touting this as “progress” and promising to bring more of the same to East Hampton.

They have made one thing a lot easier — your choices for the town board this November. Manny, Jerry, and Paul do not deserve your vote.

DAVID POSNETT  MD

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About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College
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