LETTERS: Levy on disclosure, nurse practitioner debate
Levy responds on disclosure forms
Newsday's series of articles on financial disclosure are the ultimate form of "gotcha" - but there is nothing to get . Newsday gave the false impression that I had searched out a way to avoid filling out a county disclosure form. This is outrageously inaccurate. The stories never mentioned that I am required to fill out a state form as a member of the Pine Barrens Commission. When I became aware that the Ethics Commission opined that other county employees on state commissions had fulfilled county disclosure obligations by filing the state form, I requested and received written confirmation of such.
Newsday suggested that I had failed to meet the county's requirements simply because the county charter called for a county form to be submitted; it failed to note that the county law was superseded by Article 18 of the state's General Municipal Law, which details that all local obligations are met upon the filing of the state form. Several articles failed to cite that ethics officials in New York City and Nassau County also recognize the state form for their local requirements when that filer is required to submit a state form.
Furthermore, the issuance of subpoenas was blown completely out of proportion. In order to clear up this misinformation, ethics attorneys needed to provide the filed forms to the district attorney but were precluded from doing so by confidentiality laws unless pursuant to a subpoena.
It's OK to play the "gotcha game," but it's more important to get the facts straight. After these types of articles, is it any wonder so many good people choose not to get involved in government service?
Editor's note: The writer is Suffolk County executive.
Thoughts on nurse practitioner debate
"Medical melee" , about letting nurse practitioners practice on their own, raises some important questions. What struck me most is the proponents' statements: "It will reduce health care costs," and "We just want our piece of the health care pie." Both statements prioritize financial aspects over quality of care. We should support independent patient care by anyone other than a physician only if they have successfully completed the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam. Any legislative changes should only be directed toward broadening the eligibility criteria to sit for this exam. Currently, only those who hold an MD or DO degree are eligible.
Your article misses the point. If managed care had not destroyed primary care, we would not be in this predicament. Family physicians and internists are an endangered species.
Dr. Michael Fishkin
Editor's note: The writer is a family physician.