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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, March 15

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, March 15

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Coronavirus a chance to reunite America

COVID-19 and the knock at your door. No, when you open your door, you will not be faced with the hooded figure wielding a giant sickle.
Instead, envision an opportunity to bring cohesion to a divided America. Huh?
Look at it this way. We Americans have just suffered through a lengthy, expensive and divisive impeachment trial of an American president.
That seemingly waste of time by congressmen and women might have been better spent looking into the shoring up of our infrastructure.
The trial was immediately followed by a political campaign where, once again, the slings and arrows of pointed accusations and barbed insults were flung at other campaigners. In the aftermath of all this, we have another distraction: the virus.
Let’s use it to our advantage. Just think. If we were to say to each other, “OK, we are no longer going to shake hands or give each other fist bumps.
But you know what we can do?”  “No, what?” “We can get together and fight this infectious disease as if it had declared war on us. We could first encourage our elected officials to put aside political differences and side with fellow Americans by developing a mindset for the eradication of a national threat.
“Let’s get back to business and demand that our elected officials lock step and work with the rest of us in this project.”
What do we have to lose, folks?
Allen R. Remaley
Scottsdale, Ariz., and Saratoga Springs


Middle class students need college aid, too

In reference to the Feb. 6 editorial “Help poor kids attend college first,” I believe it’s just as important for middle class students to get opportunities through the state as lower-class families.
The editorial mentions that students in poorer families should have a better chance at receiving help than those of higher income.
Although their families may have a higher income, that doesn’t mean the student themselves have money.
According to the SallieMae study, 51% of students in middle class families tend to pay for their own education with little help from their parents/families.
The Excelsior Program was designed to help all students in New York, including the middle class.
It’s important that everyone has an equal chance of being helped by the state. Since 2014, 3.5 million jobs require at least an associate degree. Expanding the Excelsior Scholarship for homes with the income of $150,000 allows more range students to access college for jobs after their education.
Although the Excelsior Scholarship doesn’t pay for room and board, having a program in New York that provides free tuition to an expanding group of students is better than not having any option for school to be paid for.
Which should be an option for all students in New York state.
Jaynemarie Ferrari
Albany


Congress must end surprise medical bills

Now more than ever, Congress needs to pass legislation to end surprise medical billing once and for all.
I recently read where New York State passed a law to try and end surprise medical billing. Apparently, the message hasn’t quite made it to the healthcare community.
As a mother of three with one in elementary school, one can imagine that a visit to the doctor’s office is not an uncommon occurrence.
Unfortunately, neither are the bills. Of course our healthcare system, with more regulations than an overtime pro football game, can’t seem to make the billing process easy for patients and caregivers.
One must only look at the information you receive from your insurance company that “explains” what you might owe. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that’s missing the pieces.
Then the bill arrives. Of course it’s a mystery what you actually owe, because how can you know what you owe if the prices aren’t posted or communicated to the patient or caregiver?
Finally, when you get ready to pay the bill, it seems even higher than what the insurance company estimated it would be. Bingo. The provider overcharged us, but hey, how would we know unless it wasn’t so egregious.
It’s time to simplify our healthcare system. We need market solutions, not government price control. Open the insurance market to competition across state lines, and end surprise medical billing.
New York state made progress, but now it’s time for Congress to bring real reform and end surprise medical billing.
Morgan Blaise
Schenectady

 

Grateful for assistance; Seniors: stay hydrated

The purpose of this letter is twofold. It is meant to advise seniors to stay hydrated and to thank the three good Samaritans who aided me after I fell in Hannaford Plaza.
They picked me up and assisted to get me to my car. I assured them I lived only four miles from where I fell. They insisted on following me to make sure I was safely home. They stayed with me and made sure I was alright.
Thank you Brian, Liz and a third man I regret not recalling.
William Humphrey
Schenectady


Age unfair measure of candidates’ good health

Someone asked me, several days ago, how old am I? I answered 88. Then I received a birthday card. It says 90. Surprise!
I am in good health, for which I am thankful. Thinking of several people running for president, they are in their 70s. Maybe we should be asking about health? Is it necessary to assume that 70s equals poor health? I wonder.
Ellie Peters
Amsterdam


Democrats show who they are with candidates

The Democrats are finally showing us who they really are. Starting out with some 24 candidates, they were “the party of diversity,” railing against rich old white men running everything. Following Super Tuesday, they are left with only two viable candidates, both of which are rich old white men. All Democrats are united by one principle, their mutual hatred of Trump.
Trump in 2016, though far from being unknown, also had an uphill struggle against more than a dozen skilled politicians. He knew this country was in bad shape after eight years of Obama, and he offered practical solutions. That’s why he was elected. He knows the strength of this nation lies in its middle class, which has a lifestyle that is the envy of the rest of the world.
The Democrats offer nothing but fear mongering, spouting sci-fi tales of global warming, and race baiting garbage.
They want absolute power, nothing less. Bolshevik Bernie is running for Socialism in America. Biden is a puppet who would be controlled by party leaders, a front man for whatever agenda they wish to promote. Either one would destroy forever whatever freedom we still have left here in America.
James Homan
Glenville


Grateful for church’s response to coronavirus

I am appreciative of the diocesewide safety precautions put into churches around the Capital Region.
My grandparents are loyal members of the Catholic Church Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Niskayuna. Knowing this virus can be harmful to people their age has made me extra thankful knowing their health and safety is a priority.
As a college student attending Saint Rose, I am eagerly waiting to see how the school will be affected and the changes or accommodations that may need to happen. It feels like a ticking time bomb.
It is saddening this has to take place during this special time of Lent, but I am glad the diocese has recognized and taken action against the spreading of the virus (and flu as well).
Thank you to the pastors in our area for recognizing what is best for the services and offering kind words to the public. A special thank you to “Father Bob” at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, who always makes people feel extra special and welcome when attending a service. This church continues to be a good place to be when feeling anxious at any time of the year.
Machaela DeSano
Schenectady


Political action works in fighting homelessness

Agree or not with the “House our homeless” billboard strategy in Schenectady, it’s important to account for its potential impact.
1. On March 10, the Schenectady County Legislature allocated an additional $66,824 to the Department of Social Services (DSS) - Code Blue Shelter Program.
2. The public learned, as a high point, during a 7-day period at the end of January, Schenectady County DSS had bused 13 people experiencing homelessness in Schenectady County to another county to seek shelter.
3. A guest editorial on March 8 in the Sunday Gazette entitled, “Addressing homelessness requires a monumental effort,” called for equitable federal policy.
At the end of the day, elected officials are politicians. They respond to political and public pressure to act in the best interest of their constituents.
As a social worker and advocate on the front lines, often working with individuals experiencing homelessness, it’s my responsibility not be complacent within a broken system, but to boldly advocate that housing is a human right and more of us need to get off the sidelines and do more.
I applaud Citizen Action and all those in the fight to house our homeless, prevent homelessness and expand access to affordable housing.
Chad Putman
Schenectady

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