Don’t let insurers dictate treatment

Regarding “Opioid scripts down, but not everywhere” [News, July 7], I’m a registered nurse and clinical nurse specialist who has worked in pain management for 20 years. I’ve witnessed the reduction of insurance company reimbursements for alternative pain management to nearly 10 percent of what they were. Alternatives include epidural injections, intravenous infusions, acupuncture and hypnosis.

If society and government want to see significantly less opioid prescribing, they must implore regulatory agencies to mandate that Medicare and private insurance companies authorize and increase their reimbursement of alternative pain management methods. Only then will we see a significant reduction in the drug overdose epidemic.

Acute and chronic pain will not go away, and patients must be treated. Let’s not allow insurance companies to determine how we treat our patients.

Orly Steinberg, Syosset

Some deportations bring shame to U.S.

Deportation of immigrants here illegally who have no criminal records is a blot of shame on our country [“Memo: ICE agents to check in at courts,” News, June 30].

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History has shown that man’s inhumanity to man often finds those who willingly heap indignities and abuse on people who are different in their religious beliefs, culture or race. It seems our country has an abundance of such individuals.

Antoinette Reilly, Freeport

Have schools weakened creativity?

About “Our damaging emphasis on testing” [Opinion, June 30], imagine all the many very young men who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence.

By today’s standards, they were well versed in philosophy, history, and the writings of giants like John Locke, etc., and the Bible. Books have been written about what an extraordinary group of men met in Philadelphia in 1776, but they never went to what we know as public school.

What was in their DNA that’s different from today’s average young adults? I have to wonder how public schools have dumbed down and weakened the creative thinking part of the brain. Worst, the lessons have forgotten God in our philosophies!

Jo-Ann Nowodzinski, Jericho

Make bicycling on Long Island safer

As avid cyclists for more than 20 years, we were pleased to read about the effort to introduce bike sharing on the East End [“Pedaling bike shares,” News, July 11].

The benefits of cycling are many, to be sure. However, cycling on Long Island is simply not that safe, and much needs to be done if we are serious about encouraging it.

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For seven years, we’ve spent a good part of the winter on the west coast of Florida, where there are numerous bike trails. Many are abandoned railroad routes that have been paved. Others are trails built along waterways and through parks. Most of them do cross streets but, for the most part, cyclists and walkers are provided with a safe environment with minimal contact with motor vehicles.

On eastern Long Island, in many areas, there are no bike lanes. Some roadways have minimal shoulders. And many motorists are aggressive, speed and take unnecessary chances.

We strongly encourage our county and local officials to explore providing bicycle and walking trails.

Carol and John Mitchell, Hampton Bays

Americans need to respect other views

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In 1972, many conservative Americans, including those who supported the Vietnam War, frequently voiced their patriotic beliefs by vowing, my country, right or wrong.

Today, far too many Americans have made political discourse a blood sport by proclaiming, in essence, my party, right or wrong [“Trump unable to take criticism,” Letters, July 13].

Attacks on people, media and institutions that hold political viewpoints different from our own are undermining our nation’s civility. They’re making America inept at solving our common challenges, and it’s debasing our democracy.

My hope is that moderate independents will step up to discourage the nasty name-calling and urge greater cooperation on America’s common issues.

Dan Carazo, Syosset