Alternate care plan would hurt millions

I’m appalled to see my congressman play the Republican-lite game with his Problem Solvers Caucus and its health care proposal [“New health plan grows,” News, Aug. 1].

During Rep. Thomas Suozzi’s campaign, he repeatedly called for a “mend it, don’t end it” fix to Obamacare. Now we know what he meant by “mend.” This plan is essentially a compromise between the Affordable Care Act, which left more than 28 million people without insurance, and the Republican plan to vastly increase that number.

By raising the size of a business from 50 to 500 before it is required to provide insurance to its employees, Suozzi would risk having hundreds of thousands of workers lose insurance; when we include the families of those workers, the number could be in the millions.

People would go to the individual marketplace, but that market is expensive. Suozzi’s plan would gut the Affordable Care Act. We are moving in the wrong direction, and Suozzi and his “problem solvers” are leading the way.

Ron Widelec, Commack

Editor’s note: The writer is on the steering committee of LongIslandActivists.org, which advocates for universal health coverage.

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Idling LIRR trains are wasting fuel

Allowing Long Island Rail Road trains to idle for hours between trips wastes fuel [“Shake, rattle and rail,” News, Aug. 21].

The noise and the pollution from diesel fumes create a public health hazard.

This situation needs a good lawyer, enough plaintiffs, medical evidence and money to pursue a lawsuit. Maybe some politicians should step up and do the right thing.

Mark Redlus,Cedarhurst

Thinking ahead to LI’s coming floods

Thank you for recognizing the effects of climate change as a direct threat to Long Island’s infrastructure and businesses [“Staying above water,” News, Aug. 20].

Although the impact of climate change is debated, the devastation of an event like superstorm Sandy cannot be argued. I’m glad Long Island’s developers see this as a risk-management issue and are working to find sustainable ways to prevent storm and water damage. We’re only going to experience more flooding in the coming years.

Alison Kubicsko,Nesconset

The storm resiliency measures highlighted in Newsday’s article are smart and forward-looking.

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However, a critical step to consider is solar-ready construction. This building practice is already required in the Town of Brookhaven and in New York City.

The building code provides for optimizing solar system output by allocating sufficient area, proper pitch and orientation. A solar-ready building allows for solar panels to be installed cost-effectively to maximize production either right away or in the future.

David G. Schieren, Long Beach

Editor’s note: The writer is chief executive of SunPower by EmPower Solar, an equipment provider.

It certainly makes sense that builders and developers are factoring in climate change to protect new projects. The seas are certainly rising, and increased flooding is a reality.

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What can we do? The most important action we can take to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would be to support a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend policy. Such a policy would provide the impetus to move this nation toward renewable energy.

It would be good for the economy and even better for the climate. All the revenue from a carbon fee could be returned to households.

Barbara Kurek, East Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of Citizens Climate Lobby, Long Island.

School superintendent has created tension

Massapequa has been embroiled in a conflict over whether to move and consolidate all of the sixth-grade classes into the Berner Middle School or to leave them in their current configuration in the elementary schools [“Reversal on grade relocation,” News, Aug. 11].

The Massapequa community elected school board member Brian Butler, whose main campaign promise was to overturn the move to the middle school. However, school Superintendent Lucille Iconis circumvented the school board and the community. She supported appeals to the state commissioner of education to stay the board’s later decision against the move. Eventually, a judge ruled to allow the move to Berner.

This superintendent has not been transparent and has created conflict within Massapequa.

James McDermott, Massapequa Park

Editor’s note: The writer has children in the school district entering third and seventh grades.