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CONTACT: Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
Lisi’s cell number: (518) 944-9528


December 1, 2016

Statement from UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on nominations for secretaries of HHS and Education

“UUP has grave concerns about Donald Trump’s nominees for secretary of Health and Human Services and secretary of Education.

“Rep. Tom Price, nominated as HHS secretary, has already indicated his intent to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, a move that would be catastrophic for millions of people who will be left without health insurance and for public hospitals that will be flooded with thousands of newly uninsured patients. This will have grave consequences for SUNY’s public hospitals. Already struggling due to inadequate funding, they will be flooded with thousands of newly uninsured patients.

“Price also supports rolling back the federally financed expansion of Medicaid in 31 states. His plans for major structural changes to Medicare would undermine the stability of a system that has worked well for decades, leading to medical insecurity and higher costs for senior citizens.

“Betsy DeVos, Mr. Trump’s choice for Education secretary, has a record of supporting for-profit charter schools with no accountability of how they use public money. She has no clear plan for higher education. We hope that DeVos, yet another billionaire appointment by Trump, won’t be as cavalier about higher education as Trump, who recently agreed to a $25 million settlement to end lawsuits alleging fraud filed by students who enrolled in his defunct Trump University.

“DeVos’ record of promoting charter schools and the use of vouchers in K-12 education indicates she would be likely to pursue a policy of privatization that would defund and decimate public education, including higher education. This would harm educational quality and reduce opportunities for children and adults in our state and across the nation.”

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 37,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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