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END THE POLITICS AS USUAL AND FIX THIS BROKEN SYSTEM

Erie and other counties across New York State are now struggling to fund Medicaid. We have all heard or read about the property tax increases, sales tax increases and potential personal income tax increases that are being proposed to assist in addressing the looming Medicaid issue.

Unfortunately, these traditional "short-term fixes" fail to adequately address the broader issues. Issues that our local politicians, of either party affiliation, have failed to address: namely, Medicaid reform, government reform and economic stimulus.

Politicians are quick to blame each other for Medicaid funding deficits. It's politics as usual.

Reality is that no matter how far the issue is pushed up the proverbial "political food chain," the taxpayers are picking up the tab for a system that is woefully broken. Until our government leadership addresses the broader issues at hand, the citizens of our communities will continue to face the heavy hand of government taxation -- local, state and federal.

The time is now to demand greater accountability from our government leaders and put an end to politics as usual.

James L. Lawicki

Orchard Park