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Editorials
What you need to know for 01/22/2017

Methodology in Sch’dy health care survey seems badly flawed

Methodology in Sch’dy health care survey seems badly flawed

  • Methodology in Sch’dy health care survey seems badly flawed
  • It’s not inhumane to use horse
  • Methodology in Sch’dy health care survey seems badly flawed

    Re the UMatter health care survey as reported in the Oct. 29 Gazette and Sara Foss’ column: My wife and I are both retired social workers. My wife worked for the Bureau of Children and Family Services in Newark; I worked for the state Department of Mental Hygiene and CURE in Albany’s North End; and we have always been advocates for those less fortunate among us.

    I was also interviewed by one of the volunteers in my Woodlawn neighborhood this past summer. We looked at the number of people surveyed and saw the following statement in Ms. Foss’s article: “The volunteers visited homes throughout the city, but made a greater effort to target needier residents.”

    On what empirical criterion would these volunteers know whom to target? Woodlawn is a rather sprawling community of single-family homes with many retired couples, widowers, as well as some younger families. If you look at statistics where specific persons already known to be needy (by whose criteria, other than the area of the city in which they live?) could you publish results that say the health issues are primarily linked to poverty?

    How is it that nearly 1,000 homes were surveyed in known impoverished areas, and only 193 in my area? When I did research for my master’s degree, my adviser would have sent me back to revise my research tools and sample survey for being biased.

    I grew up in what would have then been considered rural poverty — poor dirt farmers. My wife and I obtained advanced degrees and ministered to many street and marginal people. Poverty is, in our opinion, fueled by giveaways that deny many the incentive to escape its hold. I agree with City Mission CEO Mike Saccocio that “there is a culture of poverty. That needs to be changed.”

    Catch a fish, feed a man for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.

    David J. Brown

    Schenectady

    It’s not inhumane to use horses to pull carriages

    I recently learned that the “champions of correctness” are yet again attempting to stampede their agenda upon society, getting both mayoral candidates in New York City to agree to prohibit horse-drawn carriages — you know, those coachmen and their equine partners who provide charm, romance and a historical perspective of a slower pace to the “city that never sleeps.”

    Even the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), which since 1866 has provided leadership and guidelines on the proper ethical and humane treatment of our pets, farm animals and beasts of burden, has recently bucked common sense. It is the “champions of correctness” who have used the tactic of harassment, monetary withholding threats and political pressure to accomplish their extreme ends. These would never become law if put to the voters in the form of a proposition.

    Animal “rights” should include humane, fair and respectful treatment of all God’s creatures, not a legal document guaranteeing voting suffrage, freedom of assembly and the freedom to bark, purr or neigh their consciences to others.

    The fate of these carriage horses, unfortunately, would not be better once put out of business. It’s not as though they would be treated like the legendary “Storm Cat,” put out to stud and provided with three meals and two love trysts a day. Their unfortunate future is more likely to end up in an Elmer’s [glue] container, puppy chow, or as the early bird special at a Canadian Steak and Stinger.

    The workhorse is just that — a hardworking, noble and proud ancestor of a long line of working horses down through history. Maybe it’s the fact that they are actually “working,” and not receiving a government subsidy, that these “champions of correctness” are most concerned with.

    John Harpur

    Rotterdam

    Doc gets less flexibility under Obamacare

    Obamacare needs to be reworked.

    I recently visited my doctor to get an annual physical. Prior to this visit, I developed a rash; and I have cataract surgery scheduled.

    I asked my general practitioner during the physical if he could look at the rash and also fill out the medical clearance paperwork, clearing me for the surgery. The doctor informed me that the rules have changed; he cannot do anything during this visit other than the physical, and I would need to schedule two more visits to take care of my requests — one as a “sick” visit and one for the medical clearance. I was outraged and asked where this was coming from; the answer was Obamacare!

    How can this be a step in the right direction? Three doctor visits instead of one? Obamacare is costing me more time and money, it should be changed to be more efficient, not more bureaucratic !

    George Melber

    Schenectady

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