Only 22 More Weeks with Congressman Faso
Welcome to the response to John Faso’s weekly newsletter “Work Week With Congressman Faso.”
Each week we will highlight what the Congressman is neglecting to tell his constituents, point out his inconsistencies and hypocrisies and show how he damages NY-19 with his devotion to Trump and the Republican Agenda.
Week ending July 6
John Faso’s statements from his weekly newsletter are in red:
Wage Index Disparity Hurts Kingston Hospital
I sent comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) advocating for the agency to reassess the wage index disparity the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley (HAHV) Hospital in Kingston is facing. The disparity makes it more difficult for the hospital to attract and retain professional staff, particularly nurses. For example, a nurse with five years of experience at HAHV can expect an income of $28.50 per hour, but would receive $40.12 per hour at the hospital just eight miles away. HAHV is the only hospital within the New York City outer suburban counties that is not currently paid at the New York City wage index rate.
CMS is now considering new rules regarding the wage index. In official comments, I requested that the agency devise a new formula which will smooth out the wage index for hospitals located in the same labor market, but classified in a different statistical area for Medicare reimbursement purposes.
Faso faking it on local hospitals
Is that all you are concerned about, Faso, on the issue of protecting our medical services and retaining professional staff? How about the fact that the 2018 annual report of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, on the financial situation of Medicare’s hospital program, shows that hospitals, especially in rural areas, are in big trouble? The report shows that the tax bill cutting taxes for the rich that your Republicans voted on, combined with reduced payroll tax collections because of lowered wages—are the two main reasons for the worsening financial outlook for the part of Medicare that reimburses hospitals for caring for seniors and the disabled. This same tax bill also insures that hospitals will see more uninsured patients since the bill ends the Affordable Care Act’s penalty for lacking health insurance. So the Medicare program will have to pay more for such uncompensated care.
You bend over backwards trying to avoid the big picture on what you and the Republicans are doing to our hospitals and health care, Faso. We’re not having it.
Discussing a Final Version of the Farm Bill
The House and Senate have both passed their versions of the Farm Bill and will now reconcile those two bills in a conference committee. Last week, I met with Paul Molesky who is a local Rensselaer County farmer and active member of the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. He’s also a member of my Ag. Advisory Committee, which has been instrumental in informing my priorities for the Farm Bill over the past year and a half.
Putting a Farm Bill on the President’s desk for signature is necessary now more than ever. We cannot delay in aiding Upstate Dairy Farmers, supporting our organics industry, and helping young people and returning veterans break into the industry.
Not so Fast Faso:
Faso states in his weekly email that his Ag Advisory Committee has been a large part of “informing his priorities” with regards to the farm bill. The Congressman himself has admitted that he doesn’t have a single farmer on his Ag Advisory Committee who currently employs H2A Visa workers. How are we to go about fixing our grossly inefficient Visa system when our Ag Committee representatives don’t even see fit to speak to the people whose incomes rely on it?
That’s it for this week’s rebuttal.
To be continued next week….
Catskills Freedom Network is a federally registered political committee. Prepared by CFN PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. catskillsfreedom.org
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