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Online Letters to the Editor for March 16

Online Letters to the Editor for March 16

  • Widespread use of contraceptives have reduced respect for women in general
  • Legislators nee
  • Widespread use of contraceptives have reduced respect for women in general

    Re Greg Zoltowski’s March 7 letter, “Don’t write Clinton off because of her gender,” he should not be astonished that elements of sexism would partly prevent Hillary from being elected. Pope Paul VI predicted a degradation in respect for women with the widespread use of contraceptives in his Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (of Human Life) in 1968. I believe this prediction has come to fruition in our time.

    A lack of respect for women’s fertility in the widespread use of contraceptives has degraded respect for women in general, as objects of sexual pleasure. Contraceptives make what should be a self-giving act into a recreational, self-serving act. This, along with the proliferation of pornography and the sex industry, can only hurt a women’s chance of being president.

    What Mr. Zoltowski does not understand is that perverts vote, and today our society is very perverted.

    Steve Fontana


    Legislators need to know about the nursing home crisis in New York

    It’s imperative that the devastating cuts to nursing homes and their residents be restored.

    The proposed budget includes a staggering $214 million in funding cuts to skilled nursing providers and their residents. At a time when nursing homes across the state are already in serious financial jeopardy, such cuts threaten not just quality of care, but the very existence of the providers we relay upon to care for our aging loved ones.

    As it is, nursing homes services have been cut by more than $3 billion in the last 10 years. In the last four years alone, more than 30 nursing homes have closed, and one in 10 nursing homes predict they are in jeopardy of closing if additional cuts are enacted. In fact, New York already has the biggest shortfall between Medicaid payments and provider costs in the nation — a gap of about $25 per resident, per day.

    In 2006, the Legislature, recognizing the plight of nursing homes in New York, reformed the badly outdated nursing home reimbursement system, providing needed help to cover the cost of providing quality care. Unfortunately, no payments have been made to date. And, the 2008-09 budget proposes to eliminate $170 million of money previously committed to nursing homes.

    It’s difficult, at best, to accept when an aging loved one requires placement and the kind of 24-hour skilled care provided in a nursing home, but it’s perhaps inconceivable to imaging that our loved one who needs nursing home care — your mother, father, grandparent — may no longer have access to those services or facilities if funding cuts go through as planned. If nursing homes close, who will, and where will, we care for our ailing and long-term populations that need skilled nursing care within a setting that is able to provide all the care needed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

    As chief executive officer of The Eddy, a not-for-profit network that oversees four nursing homes in the Capital Region, I urge your readers to contact their legislators to restore nursing home care to what may arguably be our most vulnerable population.

    Jo-Ann Costantino


    American caused the Iraqis to become refugees, yet we don’t admit them to the country

    Thousands of Iraqis have worked alongside American forces in Iraq. Now, their association with American forces has put them at a huge risk for retaliation. Yet those who seek refuge inside the United States are finding it nearly impossible to gain entry.

    Our government recognizes the moral obligation we have to help these brave men and women, and has set a goal of admitting 12,000 Iraqi refugees during this fiscal year. But to date, we have admitted fewer than 2,000, and there are no signs that the situation will improve.

    It’s clear now that what is needed is presidential action. The first President Bush helped to evacuate refugees from Kosovo, and President Clinton evacuated more than 6,000 from Iraq in 1996. These two presidents showed that this can be done effectively, and safely.

    The current administration must now follow their lead.

    Charles McGuirk


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