Mitrano focuses on health care in Congressional bid

A Democratic challenger for New York’s 23rd Congressional District has started her 2020 campaign by discussing health care.

On Thursday, Tracy Mitrano held a conference call with regional media to discuss her five-city town hall tour last month. She visited Jamestown, Dunkirk, Olean, Corning and Geneva, Mitrano said.

“I learned a lot. It was a listening tour. For the most part, I wanted to hear what the people had to say,” she said. “We have been working this past year in 2019 and have laid the foundation for the election-year race, and we’ve come out in 2020 with a bang.”

Mitrano said during her “listening” tour, she heard from people who were Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated. She said no matter what side of the aisle they sit on, people want a more effective and efficient health care system.

“Everyone agrees that health care is an ineffective and inefficient system,” she said. “But they do not agree on a plan.”

Mitrano said even though health care is also handled at the state level, she said it’s up to the federal government to provide solutions that work. She said people want health care that is universal. She added that health care needs to be comprehensive in order to be affordable.

“Every taxpayer (on average) pays $8,000 a year in federal taxes toward an inefficient and ineffective system,” she said. “We want to end the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. We don’t agree on a plan, but we agree on the goal. That is what I heard all over.”

Another issue discussed by Mitrano was the Green Light Law and the debate about the information New York state shares with federal immigration agents. Earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security officials ended the Trusted Traveler Program in New York because of the lack of information being given to border patrol agents.

“Immigration has been an issue at the forefront … for a generation or more,” she said. “We have had Republicans and Democrats kick the can down the road. I think it is good that President (Donald) Trump has brought the issue to the forefront. I don’t agree with his policy, but Congress must address it.”

Mitrano said Congress needs to do comprehensive immigration reform to revisit the process to secure the country’s borders.

“We need to revisit how people who have lived here are addressed,” she said. “Bringing this issue to the state level … is a disservice to all of us. Congress should do its job.”

In 2018, Mitrano won the Democratic primary, defeating four challengers to run against incumbent Tom Reed, R-Corning. On Election Day, Mitrano was defeated by Reed 54% to 44%. In Chautauqua County, Mitrano received 16,579 votes to Reed’s 24,134 votes.


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