We Need To Learn From The Mistakes Made In New York

New York has had a very high percentage of deaths from the coronavirus compared to  other states in the nation. This is not by chance–it is the result of bad decisions made at the beginning of the pandemic and throughout the crisis. Yesterday The National Review posted an article detailing the decisions that exacerbated the outbreak.

The article reports:

Cuomo made three breathtakingly bad moves in March that in retrospect amounted to catastrophe. First, Cuomo failed to call for, and even actively discouraged, informal social-distancing measures in early March. Next was the delay in mid-March in ordering formal closures when the virus started rampaging through his state. Third was his March 25 edict to long-term care facilities that they must accept infected patients, which caused a mass deadly outbreak among helpless, trapped, elderly New Yorkers.

The article notes:

Like de Blasio, who as late as March 10 was on MSNBC telling New Yorkers that most of us were at little to no risk and that the coronavirus was much like seasonal flu, Cuomo persisted with his don’t-scare-away-the-tourists happy talk well into March, the critical month. On March 1, the day New York State logged its first confirmed case of the coronavirus (a health-care worker who had just returned from Iran), Cuomo assured everyone that, although one of his own daughters had called him in a state of panic, there was no need to be afraid. “The facts defeat fear. Because the reality is reassuring. It is deep breath time. . . . This is not our first rodeo with this type of situation in New York,” Cuomo boasted, adding, “Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers,” but the state was fully prepared. “We don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries,” he said. “We’re going to have a special effort for our nursing homes, et cetera, congregate facilities where senior citizens are being treated.” He further boasted that the state had broken free of federal restraints about testing: “Now we are actually in control of the systems ourselves. And as New Yorkers we like control.”

Summing up, Cuomo said, “Once you know the facts, once you know the reality, it is reassuring and we should relax because that’s what’s dictated by the reality of the situation.”

On March 6 Cuomo insisted, “The overall risk level of the novel coronavirus in New York remains low” and said, “We have more people in this country dying from the flu than we have dying from coronavirus.” As late as March 8, Cuomo, instead of advising people to stay away from the subway, advised New Yorkers to seek out less-crowded subway cars, the mass-transit equivalent of saying, “Let them eat cake.”

The coronavirus was an unknown entity, and I don’t blame Governor Cuomo for his original missteps.  However, I do believe that Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio were slow to acknowledge and react to the danger. Contrast this with President Trump who had the foresight to stop air travel from China. Leadership matters.

Ungrateful Doesn’t Even Come Close To Describing This

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a recent statement by Governor Cuomo of New York. On Tuesday The Governor reminded everyone who came to New York to help with the coronavirus crisis that they are required to pay New York State income tax for any wages they earned while working there.

The article reports:

Health care workers that traveled from across the country to volunteer to help fight New York’s coronavirus outbreak will have to pay state taxes, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced according to PIX 11.

In a Tuesday news conference, Cuomo said the state isn’t “in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit,” PIX 11 reported.

“So there’s a lot of good things I’d like to do, and if we get federal funding, we can do, but it would be irresponsible for me to sit here looking at a $13 billion deficit and say I’m gonna spend more money, when I can’t even pay the essential services,” he added.

The article notes:

Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian humanitarian aid organization that sent volunteers to New York to set up a temporary hospital, wasn’t aware that their organization would have to pay the state income tax.

“Our financial comptroller called me, and he said, ‘Do you know that all of you are going to be liable for New York state income tax?’ Ken Isaacs, the Vice President of the organization told PIX 11.

“I said, ‘What?’”

 According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, nonresidents who work in the state for more than 14 days must pay state income taxes. New York has one of the highest state income taxes in the country, ranging from 4% to 8.82% according to Business Insider

“What we’re even more concerned about than the money is the bureaucracy and the paperwork, and I think that once that’s unleashed, once you start filing that, you have to do that for like a whole year or something,” Isaac continued. 

Wow. The Governor may want to think about how this might impact the state’s ability to get people to come help in a future crisis.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Breitbart is reporting today that Governor Cuomo of New York has ordered election officials to automatically mail New Yorkers a postage-paid absentee ballot application during the coronavirus pandemic. These ballots are for the June primary, but if the idea is carried over to the presidential election, I can now guarantee that Governor Cuomo will be re-elected, Joe Biden will win New York State in the presidential election, and all Democrat members of the state legislature will be reelected by overwhelming majorities.

The article reports:

“I am issuing an Executive Order to ensure every New York voter automatically receives a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot because no New Yorker should have to choose between their health and their right to vote,” the governor continued.

Recently, Cuomo also issued an executive order allowing residents to vote absentee in the June 23 primary election, the announcement noted.

However, the New York GOP called the move an “illegal and unconstitutional political power grab that will severely undermine the integrity of our elections,” according to Breitbart News.

“The ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ mentality has permeated the Governor’s office and Cuomo is using this pandemic as a reason to expand his powers and force his political agenda through,” said chairman Nick Langworthy.

The article concludes:

Nearly 30 million mail-in ballots sent to registered voters went missing in the last four election cycles dating back to 2012, Breitbart News reported.

“In 2012, for instance, more than 33 million mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters. Of those, nearly four million went missing, more than 425,000 were undeliverable, and almost 260,000 were rejected,” the article read.

In a statement, Public Legal Interest Foundation (PILF) President J. Christian Adams called vote-by-mail a “disaster.”

“People who think it works haven’t studied the failures. The facts show mail voting doesn’t work,” he concluded.

This is not the path to an honest election. This is a dry run. If the Governor is successful in doing this, he will push for a mail-in presidential election. If he is successful, New York State will never again have an honest election.

How Certificate Of Need Laws Endanger Americans

The Federalist posted an article today about Certificate of Need (CON) laws and how they are hindering America’s response to the coronavirus.

The article reports:

During a Tuesday press conference, Cuomo lashed out at the federal government for not sending enough ventilators as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to rattle the state. “Four hundred ventilators? I need 30,000 ventilators,” Cuomo said. “You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators?” The state is projecting it will need approximately 140,000 beds in 14 to 21 days, which is higher than its previous estimation of 110,000 beds by early to mid-May.

However, New York, along with 35 other states and the District of Columbia, have in place what are known as certificate-of-need (CON) laws. According to Reason, “Their stated purpose is to keep hospitals from overspending, and thus from having to charge higher prices to make up for unnecessary outlays of capital costs. But in practice, they mean hospitals must get a state agency’s permission before offering new services or installing a new medical technology. Depending on the state, everything from the number of hospital beds to the installation of a new MRI machine could be subject to CON review.”

The article notes the impact of CON laws on patient mortality rates:

In addition to causing a lack of proper equipment, these rules harm patients. According to a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, states with CON laws have a 2.5 to 5 percent higher mortality rate than those without. Wait times have also been affected, with the average delay in New York City emergency rooms ranging from seven to 10 hours before the virus outbreak added strain to an already poorly operating medical system.

The article concludes:

Luckily, efforts to eradicate this onerous red tape have already begun, as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order suspending CON law enforcement in the state. Governors like Cuomo would be wise to follow suit and slash these burdensome regulations to allow for the expansion of new medical facilities and COVID-19 treatments.

More government control of our health-care industry is the exact opposite of what should be happening in Washington, D.C, and states around the country. Instead, lawmakers across the nation should be focusing on getting rid of these big-government barriers that make it more difficult for doctors and medical experts to treat patients. Letting the market solve its own problems is the answer to many of our problems in health care. The government needs to know when to step out of the way.

On March 23, I posted an article about how CON laws are impacting New Hampshire’s response to the coronavirus. Hopefully the problems caused by these laws during this health crisis will cause states to revisit them. Unfortunately, hospitals like the monopolies the laws give them and are willing to put forth massive lobbying efforts. Lawmakers need to rise above the politics and lobbyists and do what is best for the people they are supposed to represent.