Bronx: David Robinson of Lohud.com reported last month: “Health insurance providers are seeking an average rate increase of 18.7% next year for individuals and 16.5% for small group plans, state records show.” The chutzpah of this request is breathtaking! Health insurance providers have earned record profits throughout the pandemic!
Claiming that inflation is causing their need to increase their premiums, they blithely ask the state’s Department of Financial Services for an increase more than double the rate of inflation. It is time to spend our dollars more efficiently and stop supporting the profits of a byzantine number of companies, plans and networks. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine in January 2020, the United States would save $628 billion if administrative costs here were as low as they are in Canada with a single-payer system. Twenty percent of every premium dollar goes to administration, not to healthcare!
The New York Health Act would provide comprehensive care to every New York resident and save billions in administrative waste. The plan would cover life-saving reproductive health care. One plan for everyone would deliver healthcare more equitably and would be paid for more equitably by a progressive income tax. Currently, more than 50% of New Yorkers are underinsured because they simply cannot afford the premiums of a comprehensive plan. It is past time to pass the act. Keep this in mind in November. Support the candidates who support the bill. Helen Krim
Yonkers: Re the July 14 op-ed by Kyle Bragg and Henry Garrido, “New York City hospital costs are out of control”: Insurance companies, not hospitals, are to blame. It is up to the insurance companies to negotiate. In addition, hospitals and doctors have the right to refuse to accept any or all insurance. Memorial Sloan Kettering, in New York City, and MD Anderson Center, Dallas, the two leading cancer hospitals in the US, each accept only one Medicare Advantage plan, while Cleveland Clinic, the leading cardiac center in the US, accepts none. Any hospital can refuse to accept any plan. You could then have the hospitals you cite as being out of network. A better solution would be for all unions in New York City and state to support the New York Health Act, aka a single-payer system, at least until we can reach it at the federal level. Thomas Schechter
Manhattan: I am in Midtown daily. Every half-block there is a COVID testing site. Some are big, some are small. All have a big van next to the tent that’s set up on the sidewalk. There is one thing missing — people. No one is stopping to get tested. One has to wonder why we have all these sites. One has to wonder who is paying for all these employees, vans, etc. One has to wonder about the data they are collecting; is it true or is it inflated? It is almost as if someone wants us to all have COVID. I smell a political rat. What could the politicians be up to now? What is on their agenda? Maureen McNamee
Cincinnati: I just deleted my Uber app before I ever used it. Despite sexual assaults and with their anti-labor activity and many other shady dealings, they’ve achieved their success. There are better alternatives. Mark Jessie
Riverhead, LI: With the death of another alleged criminal who was jailed at Rikers Island and overdosed on drugs there, a lawsuit will be filed putting the blame entirely on the shoulders of the mayor and New York City. Of course, we all know that anyone incarcerated at Rikers Island is innocent of all charges and should be suing and collecting millions of dollars for false imprisonment — while able to obtain drugs while imprisoned. Thomas W. Smith
Brooklyn: To Voicer and Police Officer Colin Austin: You said that you shouldn’t have to pay a stupid NYC parking meter because you risk your life every day to keep people safe. How about firefighters? Do they get a pass as well? And EMT workers—what about them? No one is above the law. Period. Peter Magnotta
Bellerose: Small landlords have Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz to thank for cosponsoring the ERAP program, which extended the rights of tenants to live rent-free while landlords pay their bills. If you want to evict a deadbeat tenant to collect years of nonpayment of rent, you cannot evict them for 12 months. Since when in this country has this ever happened? The landlords have to be compensated for their losses, no strings attached. They have to pay water, gas, real estate taxes, etc. and watch the tenants buy new cars, TVs, etc. at their expense. Once you get a deadbeat tenant, you don’t want to see their face for another 12 months. Eviction is only fair. This is a travesty of justice. Kathleen Lucas
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Yonkers: Religion has always been a stumbling block to communism. Democrats are now socialists (Communists) as in the USSR. It does not work in any country in the world and will not work in our America. Let’s keep the Constitution that so many have fought and died for. For the many people who think this way and express these ideas, there are many more who think the same way and are quiet. Let your votes speak for you! As for Donald Trump, who did so much for America, the only reason the Democrats want to get him arrested is so he can’t run for office again. That is how afraid of him they are! He loves America and will make it great again in 2024! Phyllis E. Tropea
Old Bridge, NJ: It’s hard to believe that you considered “Ivana Trump Dies” front-page news on any level. Janet Cecin
Coram, LI: These new gun reform laws are a big joke and are of no use unless semi-automatic guns are banned. Better yet, ban the bullets. What are Congress and our governor expecting, Jurassic Park to break loose? Helen Purdes
Oakdale, LI: Mr. President, this is/was the land of the free and home of the brave, with inalienable rights. In education, teach reading, writing, ‘rithmetic, tolerance, empathy and compassion in general. Eileen Sullivan
Manhattan: Brittany Griner has reportedly written to President Biden that she is terrified she will be forgotten as her trial in a Russian criminal case proceeds. She reveals ella having reportedly voted for Biden but does not address whether she has previously used cannabis or possessed the cannabis oil found in her luggage. It is unclear, against this backdrop, how she is perceived to be wrongfully detained. The notion that America should trade a lawfully convicted Russian criminal like arms trafficker Victor Bout for Ms. Griner elevates her possibly reckless behavior. Ms. Griner may be a pawn in a larger (and more cynical) undertaking, but it is unclear if she gave appropriate thought to the risk she was undertaking or its consequences for the United States. Roger B Adler
Brooklyn: Hockey has a big problem trying to compete with basketball, baseball and football on TV. The problem is very simple: In these sports, you can see and follow the flight of the ball. In hockey, you can’t see or follow the black puck. All you see are hockey players in overstuffed uniforms swinging their sticks to and fro, hither, thither and yon, trying to hit the puck that the audience can’t see. Not so in the aforementioned sports. The solution is to change the color of the puck from black to orange. When highlights are shown on sports shows, put a tracer on the flight of the puck the way that golf does on its tee shots. Give the black pucks to the NYC road repair crews and they can melt them down and use them to fill potholes. Donald Cunningham
Monroe, NJ: Somebody please tell Aaron Boone of the Yankees to stop blowing bubbles. I close my eyes when he does it and I find it sickening. PS: I love the Yankees. Dolores Csatlos