Where's 'Replace'? - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1723063

Where’s ‘Replace’?

Congressman Lee Zeldin, an ardent apologist for President Trump, was rewarded for his loyalty by being chosen to give a four-minute speech at the recent Republican National Convention. He began by claiming that the president’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was nothing short of fantastic.

The typical Trump lies ask us to believe what he says, not what we see and hear for ourselves. Such claims would be laughable were it not for the more than 180,000 Americans who have died on the president’s watch. America accounts for 4 percent of the world’s population, but we have 22 percent of the world’s COVID-19 cases. How can anyone brag about these numbers?

By way of honoring our nation’s health care workers, Mr. Zeldin next told the story of his twin daughters. Born 14 weeks prematurely and weighing only one and a quarter pound each, the twins were fighters and, with the expertise and caring of many doctors and nurses, they are now doing great.

It was a touching story, and we all hope that the congressman’s children continue to thrive.

But what is missing in this narrative is the fact that such a medical emergency would bankrupt millions of American families. Many of them are Long Islanders who have lost their health insurance during the pandemic. Yes, their children might also receive the world-class medical treatment available to the Zeldin family — but that might mean losing their home, their car and their dignity.

President Trump and his Republican allies have been promising health care for American families since his inauguration. They were going to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act with something much, much better.

Well, they have been working hard on the “repeal” part. Even now, during a pandemic, they are in court fighting to have protections for pre-existing conditions removed. But the “replace” piece seems to have been delayed.

On July 19, President Trump said, “We’re signing a health care plan within two weeks, a full and complete health care plan.” We are waiting, Mr. President.

Every other industrialized nation in the world provides affordable health care to its citizens. This includes our neighbor to the north. Please explain to me why America, the most prosperous country in the world, cannot do the same. We only lack the will.

John Neely



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