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Money intended for developmentally disabled gets wasted

Friday, March 15, 2013
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Money intended for developmentally disabled gets wasted

In what ways are the reinstated funds for developmentally disabled services actually going to benefit the people in whose name they are intended?

I know some situations where they have greatly enhanced the lives of recipients. They provide enough supports for them to live productive, individually meaningful lives. These uses are fantastic and enhance society in general.

Unfortunately, I also know these funds end up in agency coffers, bloating budgets and staffs to the point that individual recipient needs become secondary, if not tertiary to agency and OPWDD [ Office for People with Developmental Disabilities] needs.

The March 10 article omitted reports about the feds dunning New York state to recoup past over-reimbursements. If this is a net shortfall, how will this impact reinstated funds?

The rainbow of issues that accompany these funds and services is truly mind boggling. It’s like a self-sustaining fungus; the end product devours its initial purpose. Recipients and real people get lost, shunted into inappropriate services, wasting their lives and our money.

Before just reinstating these funds, time, effort, and yes, funds should be expended to determine who is actually benefiting from them.

Jim O’Connor

Schenectady

Don’t blame Obamacare for rising insurance costs

We are so quick to believe the propaganda of the health care industrial complex (“My insurance rate went up, it must be Obamacare”).

Of course it is difficult to prove a negative, but here goes: How fast we forget that rates have been going up for years. The health care industrial complex is now larger than the military industrial complex. Insurance companies and the health care industrial complex will say and do anything; they are the largest-spending lobby.

I know it is still difficult to see insurance rates go up, but 1) Obamacare did not go far enough — the health care industrial complex made sure of that; 2) without the modest Obamacare changes, your rates could be much higher; 3) or maybe it is a plot by the health care industrial complex to undermine Obamacare by jacking up rates before the modest changes take effect.

Time magazine had a good article about the health care industry abuses. We actually pay more but get less than any other country. The truth is hard to research, so it is much easier to believe the propaganda, but doing nothing is not an option. The health care industrial complex is going to bankrupt this country if we don’t do something. I like some of the changes of Obamacare, coverage for my minor children and pre-existing conditions, but it could have been better.

We will never see the changes that could fix the system. We should get rid of health insurance completely and go to a real free-market system. If we had to take the money out of our pockets for each procedure and see the real costs, we would control rising costs real fast.

We have come a long way from the family doctor making house calls, and not for the better.

Vincent Pelliccia

Saratoga Springs

Political aspirations drove Cuomo push for gun law

Re March 1 letter, “Assault weapon ban the very least we can do”: Virginia Newton manifests her ignorance of the intent of the SAFE Act and the manner in which it was enacted.

First, as any gun owner knows, the SAFE Act is an attempt to erode or eradicate the Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution. I suggest Ms. Newton read the Constitution before she attempts to interpret it. What part of “shall not be infringed” does she fail to comprehend?

Second, the SAFE Act was rammed through the Legislature by a governor who has designs on the presidency. He saw a political opportunity and chose to capitalize on a tragedy to gain additional media attention and garner more headlines for himself. Little or no opposition was brooked, and there was precious little, if any, debate permitted.

If proper procedures were followed, “the need for adjustment and tweaking in order to best serve the population of New York state” would not have been required because a proper law would have been enacted, rather than the edict issued by Gov. Cuomo.

I compliment Gov. Cuomo on both the swift passage and concepts of the SAFE Act; Hitler and his Reichstag could not have done it any better or faster. As for myself, I refuse to sacrifice my Second Amendment rights on the altar of Andrew Cuomo’s attempt to be president.

Michael G. Decker

Schenectady

A progressive pair to lead Victory forward

For the voters of Victory, this year’s election will include a vote for dissolution, as well as for mayor and trustee seats. While dissolution is the right and positive forward-thinking action that should be taken, it is important to choose the right leaders, no matter which way the dissolution vote goes.

After meeting with Mick Salls and Patti-Jolie-Zotzman, we know who we will choose March 19. Both candidates are best fit to represent the members of our great community. Patti and Mick have the right leadership skills needed to move forward in either direction. They have laid out a positive vision for the village if the voters choose not to dissolve. They offer a plan to start working on a solid sidewalk replacement program. They also see a benefit from returning to a more positive discussion between the villages of Schuylerville and Victory concerning shared services.

Patti and Mick realize that we must invest in our infrastructure and want to help by continuing to pave one road a year in the village. If the voters decide to dissolve the village, their experience as former mayors provide them with the skills necessary to work with officials at the town level, to ensure a smooth transition.

What have we heard from the other candidates? More promises of the same dysfunctional government that has no forward-moving vision. No talk about improving the dialogue with the village of Schuylerville’s elected officials.

This contentious relationship cannot be beneficial to the taxpayers of either village, and yet we have seen nothing over the last four years that shows either incumbent is ready to embrace a different course of action.

We need to be informed voters. This is why we will be supporting Mick Salls and Patti Jolie-Zotzman on March 19.

Patricia and Harvey Howd

Victory

The Y is a gym, so don’t run it like a jail

Recently a few of my high school classmates and I went to the new YMCA in downtown Schenectady to play basketball. The place was packed. People where all over the lobby, new members coming to join, and tons of individuals working out, showing that the new Y is doing great.

On the other hand, when we approached to play basketball and paid our $10 for a day pass, we where told to stand and wait while background checks where run on us. I have gone to this YMCA and others recently, same situation, and never once had a background check run on myself or my friends.

We totally understood the idea behind them, and why the YMCA was doing them, but running background checks on individuals to play basketball and lift weights, especially in front of an open area (lobby) with other people around, is not right.

As the employee ran the checks, I could, as clear as day, read his computer monitor, which was less then five feet from where everyone in the lobby was conducting their business. We as a group felt as if we where entering into a maximum security facility of some sort, the way we were treated.

Nicholas Silverio

Niskayuna

If Hispanics want vote, they can learn English

Re March 6 editorial, “Montgomery County’s Hispanic voters deserve as much”: Let me begin saying I have nothing against Puerto Ricans or any other ethnic group. But I believe all people should take responsibility for learning to speak English.

Mr. [Attorney General Eric] Schneiderman wants all voting literature to be in Spanish as well as English. Does this mean he eventually will want to do this, at taxpayers’ expense, for other groups that do not speak English?

Years ago, when our grandparents came to this country, one of the prerequisites was, and still is, you had to learn English. They learned with help from family members and friends, who also were their translators.

Doe the attorney general want us to pay for translators, too?

Am I to assume all counties are in agreement with his orders? If so, then it’s all about the vote and to hell with the taxpayers.

Shirley Guidarelli

Schenectady

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comments

March 15, 2013
6:14 a.m.
muggy says...

Hello Vincent. You're drinking O's Koolaide. How about the medical devices tax increase in Obamacare? Medical device manufacturers' profit margin is about the same as the (evil) oil companies and grocery stores: 4%. The medical device tax increase is going to reduce that profit margin my 25% down to a 3% profit margin. That industry is not going to just sit there and take it. They're going to move off shore; costing an estimated 164,000 jobs in this country. Speaking of Obamacare taxes - how about the hike in the Medicare Payroll Tax? Or the Surtax on Investment Income? Then there's the Individual Mandate Excise Tax and Employer Mandate Tax. And the Tax on Health Insurers. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies. High Medical Bills Tax. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans. Medicine Cabinet Tax. BC/BS Tax Hike. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals.

There are more taxes (like the one on tanning salons). But I suspect I'll bore you with facts. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, "You have a right to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."

March 16, 2013
8:35 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Hey Vincent what fact do you have that my rates would be much higher? This is an obamanation and you simply want free everything. If this BS you so freely supported was good for the nation,then why have so many unions opted out. Ill tell you why it sucks. The Democrats and people like you have ruined yet another aspect of America that contributed to our greatness. Third world here we come. Thank you Vincent and Obama.

March 16, 2013
9:38 a.m.
tonijean613 says...

CommonwealthCare (Obama/RomneyCare) has provided high quality insurance coverag to nearly all residents of MA. Choice of "improved" private coverage at an affordable cost. Idealy, what America needs is Improved Medicare for All- taking the cost for health insurance completely off the backs of employers and spurring competition of private doctors and hospitals that would reduce costs. Also, imagine the freedom and entrepreneurial spirit that would be unleashed if Americans were not shackled to unfullfilling jobs just to have health insurance benefits.

March 16, 2013
2:32 p.m.
stockadian says...

The point that muggy leaves out is that there will be 30 million new customers of health care, and that will be great for all aspects of the health care field, including the medical device companies. All of these formerly uninsured people suddenly having insurance means that they should be willing do do a little bit in order to make it happen. And it's not just medical device companies. Hospitals will do better because now they will not have uncompensated care in emergency rooms. Same thing for doctors. These people are doing really well already, and now they are going to have 30 million more customers. Finally, nobody should go bankrupt when they get sick in this country.

And muggy, when you quote someone, (using quotation marks) it behooves you to state the exact quote.

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