Letters to the Editor


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A man we trusted
It is hard to believe there was ever a time in this country that a news anchor was the most trusted man in America. Many, from Dan Rather to Katie Couric, have tried to copy Walter Cronkite, but none has succeeded. Today’s news professionals seem to follow the George Burns school of sincerity – if you can fake it, that’s all you need.
Michael Chimenti
Oakland Gardens

Health Care for all
Health Care should be a right – provided to all citizens. It recognizes the government’s obligation of protecting the citizenry and guaranteeing a prosperous nation.
A healthy citizenry rewards the national welfare while saving money. It permits participation by those who otherwise would be limited in developing a stronger more vital country.
Health insurance is a product that is cost driven and profit motivated. Insurance providers are interested in retaining as much income as possible. As a result, there are inherent conflicts between the subscribers and the providers. This usually limits coverage by having non-medical employees determine the level of care for patients rather than physicians.  
The current arguments over the Administration’s attempt to affect reform are governed by the obvious differences between providing expanded health care at reduced cost versus the profit interests of insurance companies.
Opposition against a public option makes no sense. The usual mantra by those opposed to government involvement in the private sector is government incompetence. The claim now is the private sector would be incapable of competing with the government.
Health care related items cost the U.S. economy over $2 trillion annually. Absent reform the percentage of GDP consumed by health care will grow, crippling the nation. What was sought by President Truman 60 years ago as a goal has become a matter of national security. President Obama is right to demand reform that reduces the cost and expands coverage to the uninsured.
Edward Horn
Baldwin, N.Y.

Medicare Catch 22
The article about safeguarding your information in the June 4 edition was wonderful.  One of the most important things a person can do is keep their Social Security number as private as possible. The government says we should absolutely NEVER carry it in our wallet or pocketbook. 
Sadly, 44 million Americans are not able to follow this sound advice. This is because they have Medicare, a health program run by our government, and the claim number on the card is their Social Security number.
Every time a person with Medicare sees a doctor, lab for blood, has X-rays, cat scans, MRI, etc taken, or any other medical procedure they have to show their card. In addition, forms that the office wants us to complete also ask us to write down the Medicare (aka Social Security) number.  
There is a solution. In the past, the Social Security number was used by schools as your student ID number, jobs as your employee number, and other health insurance agencies as your claim number. In recent years, they have all updated their systems and now use different numbers to identify the consumer. 
I understand that Medicare is a huge enterprise, but they have to understand the risk they are putting us at and come up with a way of changing their numbering system.  If they truly want us to follow their advice, then they have to help us by changing the Medicare numbering system.
Lee Rottenberg
Middle Village

A blogging topic
I would like to suggest the topic – “What could be done to make Astoria better?´– for your Astoria posts.
My 2 cents:
Put an elevator or escalator on the 30th Avenue subway station.
If you notice, this is the station that is frequented by people who don’t feel well – they are on their way from/to the Mount Sinai Hospital or the many other health facilities that line up 30th Avenue, 36th and Crescent Streets. These people have to climb up four flights of stairs to get to the subway platform. The other day as I was going to the subway a woman climbing the stairs in front of me collapsed to the floor. People asked her if she wants them to get an ambulance. She said no, she just needed to rest. So she sat on the floor for a while, then continued her climb up to the train.
Maybe if you blogged about it, it would bring the topic to the attention of whoever could do something about getting help in this matter.
Natalia Paruz
Astoria

Graffiti call for Crowley
I’ve called Congressmember Joseph Crowley’s office on several occasions to inquire where he stands on key issues, as well as to comment on his inaction for years in addressing the growing graffiti blight in his 7th district. Each time, I was told that the Congressmember does not discuss policy by phone and I would have to access his web site, the assumption being that all of Crowley’s growing number of unemployed constituents have on-line access. My dear fellow Queens constituents, when are you going to realize that keeping deadbeats in public office since the dinosaurs roamed is killing us as a nation? Crowley has become so complacent that he doesn’t feel the need to review major legislation such as the stimulus and cap and trade bills before he rubber stamps.It is long past time for Joe to go.
Eileen Lechki
Elmhurst