New York

Letters to the Editor for Friday, April 26

Your Voice
St. Clare’s workers need pensions now
I was a St. Clare’s hospital employee for 38 years. It was always a Catholic hospital. Sister Senata and Sister Bonavita were present.
Before the closure was announced, we knew there were problems.
In the beginning, I thought Ellis would take care of us, since several of us nurses had some of our training at Ellis.
I also thought New York state would help us, since the budget is so large and so much money is wasted. I have made phone calls to my local congresswoman with no success.
February 1, March 1 and April 1 have all passed and needed money is lost.
We need our retirement now.
Carol A. Armitage, RN
Middle Grove
Papers are littering up streets, property
With Earth Day here, people are thinking about waste, littering, plastics pollution and other environmental issues.
So, it is with interest that I find poor environmental behavior by our own Daily Gazette.
Recently, on Salina, Nott and Gerling streets, I saw several dozen copies of the “Your Niskayuna” weekly section, each in its own blue plastic bag, littering front yards, driveways, sidewalks and the street (a few were on porches).
Questions: Is every Northside house supposed to receive one of these? How many people want them? How are carriers delivering them? I find this indiscriminate delivery of a non-essential newspaper item objectionable. 
Perhaps The Gazette sees this as a way to increase readership, that people reading “Your Niskayuna” will want to read the rest of the paper. I would like see the statistics on that.
On Saturday, April 27, the Northside of Schenectady is holding a Clean-Up Day, sponsored by Marty’s Hardware.
I am curious to see how many blue bags will be fished out of street drains, extricated from hedges and picked up off sidewalks.
The Gazette should rethink its policy on the mass distribution of weekly newspaper supplements and stop contributing to our litter problem.
Margaret Novak
Editor’s Note: Both the plastic bags and the newspapers are recyclable.
Gillibrand should take in immigrants
I would gladly donate $100 toward the transportation costs of a busload of illegal immigrants, sprinkle in some MS13 gang members, and deliver them to the home of our very own foul-mouthed phony Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
She loves these people so much. It only seems right that she should fill her home with them.
She has said that there is no such thing as illegal immigrants.
She wants to give them our hard-earned Social Security money, free medical coverage, free education and the right to vote.
P.T. Barnum one said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
He could have been talking about the donors to Gillibrand’s presidential campaign.
Ray Weidman
Oppose changes to Medicare policies
As an oncologist in the Capital District region, I have serious concerns with Medicare proposals that could put patient access to Medicare Part B drugs, like chemotherapy, at serious risk.
For example, Medicare’s proposal to lower drug costs by establishing an International Pricing Index (IPI) model would ultimately not result in lower out-of-pocket patient costs.
Instead, it would potentially limit patient access and disrupt important cancer therapies for our seniors.
The IPI model inserts third-party vendors with no clinical expertise between cancer patients and their oncologists, which risks introducing an unnecessary barrier in the delivery of treatment for the New Yorkers who are diagnosed with cancer every year. 
While third-party vendors disrupt patient access, the mandatory nature of the model undermines initiatives already established that are voluntary, value-based care models that have yielded positive results for patients and payers on quality and cost.
Recently I met with some New York lawmakers in Washington, including the offices of Sen. Charles Schumer and Reps. Paul Tonko and Yvette Clarke, to provide this underappreciated perspective on this issue based on the cancer patients I treat daily. 
For my patients, as well as the thousands of other cancer patients across New York, I urge our lawmakers to oppose Medicare policies that undermine critical access to important cancer therapies.
We must work together to put a stop to Medicare’s dangerous experiment on senior care and continue to evolve value for our patients’ lives.
Ira Zackon, MD 

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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