Democrats fight Graham-Cassidy as legislation dies in the Senate

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and other elected officials blasted the latest effort to repeal the ACA. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Local Democratic elected officials gathered at City Hall to protest the latest efforts from Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Monday morning, a day prior to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scrapping the planned vote.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who was joined by City Councilmember Corey Johnson, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and other healthcare advocates, said that the latest iteration of the bill, dubbed “Graham-Cassidy” for its co-sponsors, Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, was just as harmful as previous attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Maloney noted that although local elected officials oppose the bill, it would still negatively impact New Yorkers if it passed because the state would lose funding.

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ST Republican runs for boro prez

For Frank Scala, pictured at his barber shop, priorities are tackling homelessness and helping businesses stay in place. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Frank Scala, at the age of 78, is a veteran in more than one sense of the word. Along with having served in the Italian Navy, the Sicily native has also worked as a barber for decades at his own shop, La Scala, and he also has a history of running for office in New York City.

Being a Republican hasn’t stopped him from attempting to defeat popular Democrat incumbents. He’s challenged former Assembly Member Steven Sanders, current Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Brad Hoylman.

And now Scala, a resident of Stuyvesant Town, has set his sights on the Manhattan borough president’s office, running against Gale Brewer.

Last year, when running against Kavanagh, Scala at first said he was just doing it out of a sense of obligation to the Republican Party since no one else had stepped up. He’d begrudgingly done the same thing two years earlier to give Republicans someone from their own party to vote for, when challenging Hoylman. But Scala later changed his mind, saying he wanted to run “legit.” This time, he’s running a mostly inactive race — he isn’t fundraising and has no website.

But he was still happy to do an interview to discuss the issues he thinks are a priority for the borough and the campaign.

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Stuyvesant Town woman seeking kidney donor

Barbara Levin

By Sabina Mollot

For the past 40 years, Stuyvesant Town resident Barbara Levin, an occupational therapist, has helped sick and disabled children develop the basic skills they need to maintain their independence, including many of her own young neighbors. However, because of a birth defect that left Levin with kidney disease — and now an imminent need for a kidney transplant — Levin is turning to the community she’s worked with for help.

Levin, who reached out to Town & Village earlier this week, said she’s been on the waiting list for a kidney from a cadaver for two and half years, but the waiting list is 7-9 years. Meanwhile, she’s already exhausted her options from friends and family. Fourteen family members as well as friends have already been tested to see if they’d be a good match and all were rejected for various medical reasons. Getting a kidney from a living donor would be ideal, she explained, because on average those last twice as long as the ones from cadavers, and they start working sooner with less of a chance of rejection.

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