Letter: Taxes In All But Name

Stefanik knows that her assertions are untrue; the St. Lawrence County records have been widely published, yet Stefanik has chosen to make false statements the focus of an attack on Tedra Cobb.


Elise Stefanik is streaming a TV ad untruthfully accusing Tedra Cobb of excessive increases in taxes while she was a St. Lawrence County legislator. Stefanik knows that her assertions are untrue; the St. Lawrence County records have been widely published, yet Stefanik has chosen to make false statements the focus of an attack on Tedra Cobb. Note that Stefanik is not talking about openly debating issues with Tedra Cobb.

One debate issue I look forward to hearing relates to the recent release of Proposed 2019 Health Insurance Premium Rates for Individual and Small Group Markets, published July 25, 2018, in a press release by the New York State Department of Financial Services. These are requested rates (not yet approved) by New York health insurers. Note that Stefanik voted to gut the Affordable Care Act, including removing the individual mandate which spreads costs across all citizens, with the result shown in these examples.

Fidelis has requested a 2019 rate increase without Individual Mandate Appeal of 12.9 percent; with the Individual Mandate Repeal the rate increase requested is 38.6 percent. UnitedHealthcare of New York requested without Individual Mandate Repeal 17.7 percent; with repeal 23.6 percent; Excellus without 1.6 percent, with 8.9 percent; Healthcarefirst PHSP without 8.5 percent, with 15 percent.

These are the “taxes” that Elise Stefanik has voted for with far greater costs than those of payment of insurance premiums. Her vote to gut the Affordable Care Act was estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cause loss of health insurance for 64,000 people in the 21st District. Stefanik voted to increase health risks for individuals and communities by voting to increase greenhouse gas emissions, to undo rules that protect streams and groundwater from pollution and coal mining operations, to stop EPA funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, to stop communities from regulating pesticides within their own borders and approve new pesticides with no assessment of impact on fish and wildlife. Stefanik also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a major provider of affordable and quality health services for women and families. These votes are all recorded in Congressional records.

Are these not all “taxes” imposed by Stefanik on individuals and families: financial costs, health costs, quality of life costs? Tedra Cobb knows that they are, and she is working across this 21st District to help people recognize these issues and understand why we need to vote, as well as understand what we are voting for.

Phyllis Magnus, Saranac Lake

From a Letter to the Editor originally published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, dated August 11, 2018.

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