Party politics and the rural North Country

To the editor:

There are 102,415 people in the North Country who rely on Medicaid. Most are seniors; 19,261 of them are children.* These people live here.

They also die here. To give some perspective, 102,415 is equivalent to every man, woman and child living in Plattsburgh, Watertown, Ogdensburg Massena, Potsdam, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Peru and Elizabethtown, combined. Yet Elise Stefanik willingly voted to gut Medicaid with no safety net or common-sense plan in place to meet their immediate needs.

Her vote was careless and irresponsible. She voted without understanding the impact. Rather than reaching across the aisle and having the courage to do what everyone knew was the right thing — work to secure a workable and improved plan that reflects the needs of her district — she failed to stand-up. Worse, the politics she voted for directly targeted her own constituents. She seems to lack the maturity and experience to realize that when it comes to health, we are in this together.

We need to stop this nonsense and vote people in office who (actually) live here and understand the reality of rural life and economics. We need representatives who refuse to accept money from outside, billionaire-funded political groups or New York City big banks. We need people who will represent the best interests of ALL of the people in this area — Democrats, Republicans and independents — and not be a political puppet.

We are better than this. Our children depend on us being better. Those who have gone before us and gave the ultimate sacrifice deserve a better legacy.

Brad Else


* New York State Department of Health, as of May 23, 2017