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Nursing home offers preview of Stefanik-style health care

To the editor:

Here in Essex County, we are living through a tragic and deadly situation as COVID-19 infiltrated the Essex Center nursing home, formerly named Horace Nye. This facility was county owned and run until 2014. It was highly regarded. I visited the facility prior to its sale with my granddaughter’s preschool class for Halloween festivities with the residents. I found it to be a pleasant, clean, friendly facility.

In 2012 the Essex County supervisors stated they were losing $2 million per year maintaining Horace Nye and voted to sell it to a for-profit business for $4 million, completing the sale in 2014.

A few years after the sale, my husband and I toured the facility, looking for a nursing home for his mother. We were disturbed by the lack of social activities for residents as well as the smell of urine and feces. We noted a log documenting multiple code infractions. Clearly, we would never put our loved one in the Essex Center.

The bottom line here is that for-profit businesses look at only one thing — the bottom line, not how people are impacted.

Therefore, I am genuinely concerned about the coming election and Ms. Stefanik’s position to privatize Medicare and Social Security. Ms. Stefanik voted in 2015, 2017 and 2018 for market-based health care — meaning privatize Medicare. She has voted multiple times to cut billions from Medicare funding and go to a voucher system.

Who benefits from this? Not the Medicare recipients anymore than the Essex Center residents benefited from privatization. The only benefit goes to Ms. Stefanik’s big donors — insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

We cannot undo the damage that privatization of the Essex Center had on our less fortunate, elderly residents. We can, however, learn from it and not allow Ms. Stefanik to do similar damage to our Medicare and Social Security, to benefit her corporate donors.

A vote for Tedra Cobb is a vote to save our Medicare and Social Security.

Nina Matteau

Westport

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