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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for March 12

Letters to the Editor for March 12

  • Spitzer budget would cut too many long-term health services
  • Buckley was right about ‘war o
  • Spitzer budget would cut too many long-term health services

    The 2008-09 state budget proposed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer includes $214 million in cuts to nursing homes; all cuts to long-term care total more than $300 million.

    Again, as has occurred in the last decade, extremely hurtful funding cuts are directed at long-term care entities, making the operation of these entities more difficult. Over the last 10 years, a total of $3 billion in state funding cuts have hit nursing homes, causing extreme financial instability to this business sector.

    These budget cuts for long-term care services will severely compromise the quality of individual elderly care, cause more nursing homes to close, and help balance the state budget on the backs of the most vulnerable population — nursing home residents (who have not only contributed to society as a whole, but have paid their fair share of taxes during their lifetime).

    A goal of both the governor and legislators is to ensure that elderly individuals who need long-term care remain in the community and out of nursing homes as much as possible. This goal can only be achieved by stabilizing funding for the foundation of long-term care — nursing homes — and by funneling increased funding to community long-term care services. Neither is happening. Therefore, this goal will not be met.

    In 2006 the governor and legislators approved additional funding to help nursing home businesses survive. Essentially the governor’s budget takes that funding, and more, away — and will further crush the nursing home industry in New York state.

    The quality of living of the people served in New York’s nursing homes and other elder care services is dependent on these cuts be restored. Restoring these hurtful cuts will help the governor and legislators achieve the goal of establishing increased home and community-based long-term care services.

    Neal E. Van Slyke


    The writer is administrator for the Wells Nursing Home.

    Buckley was right about ‘war on drugs’

    I found it particularly interesting that William Buckley’s death came within a day or two of the announcement that more than one in 100 Americans are in prison.

    In the requiems on Buckley’s behalf, it is odd that no one decided to credit him for the following statement he provided the New York Bar Association: “A conservative should evaluate the practicality of a legal constriction, as for instance in those states whose statute books continue to outlaw sodomy, which interdiction is unenforceable, making the law nothing more than print-on-paper. I came to the conclusion that the so-called war against drugs was not working, that it would not work absent a change in the structure of the civil rights to which we are accustomed and to which we cling as a valuable part of our patrimony. And that therefore if that war against drugs is not working, we should look into what effects the war has, a canvass of the casualties consequent on its failure to work. That consideration encouraged me to weigh utilitarian principles: the Benthamite calculus of pain and pleasure introduced by the illegalization of drugs.”

    He certainly hit the nail on the head, didn’t he? How many of the millions of jail inmates are there due to this “war on drugs” — which apparently will never be won?

    Henry Bukoff


    Building up day care will help boost economy

    I have heard several people, most recently Joseph Kaczynski {March 6 Gazette}, complaining about the $600 tax rebate from the government. Some say it won’t help at all, some say it won’t help the “right” people, and others say they don’t even want the check.

    I have a solution for all naysayers: Sign your check and hand it over to your nearest day care center. You’ll be guaranteed that it will help, by employing those who care for young children, who in my opinion are the “right” people — and it will relieve you of the dreaded check. It may even make you feel good about yourself and provide you with a tax deduction for next year. Wow! What a win-win solution.

    All of the moms and dads will thank you for supporting the centers that they entrust their children to daily as they go off to work to earn money to buy the goods and services needed to care for their families. The business owners will thank you for supporting the centers of the families, who make the money to spend in their establishments, buying those goods and services. And yes, some of it may even make its way to the bottom line of the big corporations. But who do the corporations employ? The moms and dads of our future. Take the blinders off and look at the bigger picture.

    Sandra Malcolm


    Strock off base about mental illness

    As a physician who sees seriously mentally ill individuals regularly, I found Mr. Strock’s March 4 article expressing his doubts about the veracity of mental illness, and its appropriate treatment, quite troubling.

    His opinions are just that, and he has a right to express them, even if they are inaccurate. However, I take issue with his characterization of talking to a therapist as evidence of being “nuts.”

    Many people and their family members are tormented by the effects of the stigma that is attached to their sometimes disabling illnesses. This stigma often leads them to live with shame and in desperation, rather than seek help.

    A good source of information that is both current and accurate is the Web site: www.nimh.nih.gov.

    Aliya Saeed


    Letters Policy

    The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.

    There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.

    All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.

    Please include your address and day phone for verification.

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