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Friday, June 06, 2014 

More than 90 percent of Kiryas Joel on subsidized healthcare

According to the Times Herald Record:
A charged debate over government aid use in Kiryas Joel erupted in February, when a county lawmaker reeled off Medicaid statistics at a packed Monroe meeting to argue that plans to enlarge Kiryas Joel would carry a financial toll.

Orange County officials reacted by releasing figures showing roughly equal participation in social services programs in Kiryas Joel and the cities of Newburgh and Middletown in January 2011. Though they may have hoped to defuse the controversy, their data only aroused greater interest, particularly since more recent figures had showed much higher Medicaid enrollment in Kiryas Joel.

Now, the county has provided a new batch of data indicating more than 20,000 Kiryas Joel residents were enrolled in Medicaid and the Medicaid-funded Family Health Plus program in December. That's about 11,000 more recipients than in the earlier county data, and it comprises almost 93 percent of Kiryas Joel's estimated population.

The updated figures add grist to a particularly sensitive thread of argument over a proposal to expand Kiryas Joel by 507 acres. Opponents contend the resulting population growth would drive up social services costs and taxes. Kiryas Joel's representatives counter that critics are unfairly focusing on a single type of government services.

"I think these numbers are being used to attack a community, and that's what I have a problem with," Kiryas Joel School Superintendent Joel Petlin said. "If we're going to do that cost-revenue analysis, why are we only looking at one area of the county budget?"

Critics contend that social services costs are a legitimate issue in analysis of the land-annexation proposal and in the broader discussion of poverty in Kiryas Joel, long ranked as one of the nation's poorest places. Median reported household income there is around $23,000.

"I don't know how much is caused by lifestyle choices; I don't know if some are gaming the system," said county Legislator Mike Anagnostakis, a Town of Newburgh Republican who set off the recent debate with his Feb. 10 speech in Monroe. "But I do know that these trends in Orange County are alarming and unsustainable for taxpayers."

Emily Convers, chairwoman of the citizens group United Monroe, which is fighting the annexation effort, said, "No one is saying that people who need help shouldn't be receiving it. But the disproportionate number of citizens using these services is cause for alarm."
Man, I'll bet those Satmar must love Obamacare, eh? This exploitation of government subsidies they're pulling is reprehensible and should not be taken lightly. Something must be done to scale back the subsidies they're receiving as they run an isolationist neighborhood that goes by an otherwise anti-Israel mindset and other oppressive mentalities. The residents of Monroe have every right to object to the Satmar's offensive MO.

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