I couldn’t agree more with the letter writer who is disgusted with the way we recycle [“Eliminate the 5-cent fee on bottles, cans,” Just Sayin’, March 4]. The nickel deposit system wastes time, money and gas. We sort our other recyclables without any deposits. Hopefully, some wise politician will see how antiquated the current system is.

An alternative would be for each supermarket to have a place for customers to dump their recyclable bottles and cans, with the proceeds going to worthy charities.

I guess many people would prefer this approach to spending time inserting bottles, one at a time, into a machine just to get back a few dollars. And it would be a boon to the charities chosen as recipients.

Arthur Wellikoff, Malverne

Compel execs to tell the cost of services

The nation’s heath care crisis will never be solved, by either the Democrats or Republicans, unless they deal with the root cause [“In support of health bill,” News, March 13]. The problem is the sky-high cost of medical care and drugs!

Congress must subpoena chief executives of major health care providers, insurers and drugmakers. They should be required to provide proof under oath of what their services actually cost and what they are charging.

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Given time to get that information, they should be cited for contempt if they do not provide it. They should face perjury charges if they give false information. Let’s see how many would risk jail time to protect company profits.

Ronald Gendron, Smithtown

 

The health care plan proposed by the GOP is getting a lot of attention for “preserving” two of the most popular features of the Affordable Care Act, including the pre-existing conditions clause. Unfortunately, this claim is wholly inaccurate.

Under the new proposal, insurers could impose a surcharge on sick people who have had a gap in coverage. In other words, if someone gets ill and loses a job and health insurance, he or she might never be able to get back on his or her feet. Even if a person gains employment again and applies for health insurance, he or she could be crushed under this burden.

This could apply to people with any pre-existing condition, such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, Crohn’s disease, etc. It’s a recipe for disaster and would devastate our most vulnerable citizens.

This is life or death for many Americans.

Ellen Meister, Jericho

Don’t neglect the needs of seniors

Some residents of Huntington Station are concerned about tearing down a horse stable and replacing it with an assisted-living facility [“Rezoning concerns,” News, March 8].

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What exactly is their concern? Are they afraid of the wild parties and loud music?

Have we stooped so low that we deny our senior citizens housing? This is carrying the tradition of NIMBY too far.

Richard Stallone, Franklin Square

Rethink the use of taxes for education

Public schools’ monopolistic grab of taxpayer funding has not served all of our children well or in a cost-effective manner [“Rallying for school funding,” News, March 5].

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Parents are the primary educators of children. Government funding should go directly to parents via vouchers for the school of their choice. Public, private, charter and parochial school competition would assure the best results for students and taxpayers. This also would challenge the teachers union monopoly.

Budgets should be based on a district’s student population, multiplied by the average cost of nonpublic schools. Public school average costs could be reduced to nonpublic-school levels by cutting teacher and administrative pay and benefits.

Additional savings could be found in maintenance and repairs, and by reducing the number of teachers and increasing class sizes to match nonpublic schools. Also, public school parents could pay additional taxes.

Public schools are built on excessive land, thereby reducing the tax base funding them. This excess is another example of public school establishment arrogance. Also, seniors should be exempt from school taxes.

Charles G. Healy, Mineola