Rep. Delgado Addresses Ulster County Chamber

KINGSTON – Freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado (D-NY19) spoke to the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce in Kingston on Thursday in his first major public address since taking office last January.

“There’s a lot going on in D.C., some might say too much,” Delgado began, adding that it felt good to be home. Last month his office skipped local appearances due to the federal government shutdown, he explained.

Delgado said plans to hold six town hall meetings throughout the district this week, including one in Ellenville on Saturday, February 23; and will repeat with more local tours every third week of each month.

Discussing growth for small businesses throughout the region, Delgado indicated that past reforms were all undermined by wealth giveaways, adding a trillion dollars to the federal deficit each year.

“Twenty-two trillion dollars, the highest debt this country has ever seen in our country’s history. For my fiscally responsible individuals out there, that should make you a little nervous, because it’s handcuffing our ability to invest in our future, in local and small business growth,” Delgado said. “Now we can sit here and say let’s just keep printing money, but I disagree. We have got to invest and grow our GDP at a faster rate than our debt. That is how you grow the economy from the ground up. But what are (we) going to invest in? That is the key.”

Workforce training and education programs, green renewable energy jobs, broadband access, quality cell service, and infrastructure projects are some of the means Delgado suggested.

Regarding health care, Delgado said that the private insurance industry currently has an essential monopoly, for those not qualified for Medicare or Medicaid. “You are beholden to the profit insurance mentality. The only way we can change this dynamic, in my estimation, particularly in the short term, is not to do away with the whole system,” he said.

Rather, Delgado suggested inserting a public competitor into the marketplace. “That public competitor is Medicare. We know that if we allow everybody to opt-in, it’s going to drive down premiums and deductibles, turn a high-risk pool into a more healthy pool. It’s going to pay for itself, and cost seven times less to administer,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re not doing this in D.C. You might think that I came from another planet, the way I’m talking, because we’re not talking substantively at all about our economics. Nobody’s talking about our national debt, bankrupting our future, or investing smart, workforce development, or training programs. You know why? Because too many folks there right now are worried about headlines, and are influenced by special interests, and are not beholden to the people who put them there in the first place.”

The congressman said, “I’m here to serve you, irrespective of party, Democrat, Republican, Independent,” promising to do right by everybody and strive to find common ground.

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