Something About Sam-Letters To The Editor

Senator Cataldo serves a different master
To the Editor

On Jan. 2, Senator Sam Cataldo (District 6) offered a rebuttal of a letter published on Dec. 12 by NH Senate candidate Rich Leonard. Senator Cataldo titled his letter ”Fact Check, Mr. Leonard, Fact Check”, obviously to deliver an accusation that Mr. Leonard had not included any facts in his letter.

Senator Cataldo was wrong in his suggestion that there were no facts presented in Mr. Leonard’s arguments. There were 15 pertinent facts that were included in the letter, which essentially was meant to express disappointment in the Senate’s failure to support medicaid expansion in NH, even though the commission that was developed for the Senate to study the situation actually recommended that the expansion of Medicaid in New Hampshire is the right thing to do. The Commission recommended that adults not already eligible for Medicaid aged 19-64 with income up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level should be covered. Senator Cataldo conveniently forgot to mention that fact to the readers. Senator Cataldo says he read the report of the Commission. He probably did. He just didn’t understand it.

Senator Cataldo also forgot to mention that the Senate originally chose to appoint the commission to study the situation as part of a compromise deal. Even though the majority of New Hampshire citizens were in favor of the expansion, and several other studies suggested that Medicaid expansion in the state would indeed save on New Hampshire’s healthcare costs, the Senate refused to go along with the House’s recommendation and opted to appoint a committee to study it further. Months went by, and even though there was an understanding that the Senate would take the recommendations of the committee and vote accordingly, they failed to do so. Senator Cataldo, like many other Republican Senators, decided to continue down the continually tiresome “Let’s destroy Obamacare” path, rather than listen to the citizens of his district, and do what’s right for New Hampshire.

The majority of Senator Cataldo’s letter does not counter Mr. Leonard’s facts point by point, but rather takes a detour from logic to attack the Affordable Healthcare Act, in general. He accuses Mr. Leonard of omitting the “fact” that the Supreme Court struck down the mandatory medicaid expansion, as if Mr. Leonard was hiding that from his readers. In actuality, had the Supreme Court upheld the mandatory expansion of Medicaid, the argument itself would be mute and the Senate would not be able to stall our state and prevent expansion.

Our citizens would be better off, and some of our most needy folks would be able to get the healthcare they deserve and need. He incorrectly lays blame on the Affordable Care Act for the exclusion of Frisbie Memorial in the Anthem coverage network and for the inability of some of the already insured to keep their own doctor. While both of these are facts, the Senator doesn’t understand the causal relationships at play. Both of these results were the consequences of Anthem’s decision to increase profits by limiting service to doctors and hospitals, effectively “strong arming” both into giving Anthem lower prices on the promise of increased clients. Neither of these scenarios are a result of the Affordable Care Act as Senator Cataldo claims.

Senator Cataldo does not listen to his constituents because he serves a different master. The Senator’s campaign funds came largely from Tea Party supporting groups, in other words from the Koch Brothers, who want nothing more than for our government to fail. District 6 cannot afford to keep Sam Cataldo in the Senate. He’s driven by his own prejudices and biases and not by the overwhelming wants and needs of his constituents. Rich Leonard, on the other hand, is highly in tune with those constituents and will work diligently to help all of the citizens in District 6 be better off than they are under Senator Cataldo.

Stan Freeda

Bluster without facts
To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter recently published in which State Senator Sam Cataldo responded to a letter from Richard Leonard. I first have to congratulate Mr. Cataldo for nerve. He titles his letter”Fact check, Mr. Leonard” and then follows it with a two column ramble with virtually no facts in it. He says in his letter that he did vote to establish a commission with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats on it to study the question of Medicaid expansion and then make a recommendation based on the facts which they discovered. A commission was formed. The evenly divided Commission voted overwhelmingly in favor of Medicaid expansion.

Despite the fact that he had asked for a commission to study the question and give an answer, Senator Cataldo ignored the recommendation of the Commission he had asked for and voted against expansion. He says that he made a “informed decision”, which convinced him because he felt the commission was wrong. Does he provide any facts in support of his “informed decision”? No. Does he say what his information was? No.

He does criticize the Affordable Care Act provisions for private insurance. But that is different from Medicaid expansion. The ACA’s exchange will not have anything to do with Medicaid expansion unless the legislature forces people into it. Even there he provides no facts. He says that it is “becoming clear” that the Affordable Care Act is not working and is supposed to be harming the economy. Does he give one fact in support of his statement? No.

Mr. Cataldo goes on to say that he read the Medicaid Expansion Commission’s report. If he read it, has he told us one fact from it which was wrong? No. Does he tell us one conclusion that was incorrect? No.

Senator Cataldo asserts that he wants to protect his constituents and other people in New Hampshire from increased costs of health care. And he portrays himself as fiscally responsible, but is it fiscally responsible to turn down the return of $2.5 billion dollars in federal tax money that would come back to New Hampshire if Medicaid were expanded? This month $500 million dollars of our taxes will go to other states, and next month, and next. Thirty thousand people in New Hampshire will have not health insurance, thanks to Sam Cataldo’s vote. Has he provided one “fact” to show that is a good thing? No.

In his letter, Sam chides Richard Leonard saying that as a pharmacist Mr. Leonard should know more about health care. Mr. Leonard is a pharmacist and provides prescriptions to people at the Hannaford Pharmacy in Alton, New Hampshire on a daily basis. I think we have to conclude that Mr. Leonard does know what he is talking about on health care and Sam is the man with no facts.

Emmanuel Krasner, Esquire