Volunteer Biff Harney stocks shelves in the food pantry at the...

Volunteer Biff Harney stocks shelves in the food pantry at the CAST headquarters in Southold on Nov. 18. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Gifts to the hungry better than receiving

Every year at this time, I get anxious and stressed over Christmas gift-giving. I’m always trying to think of the perfect gift for adult family members.

This year, I decided that instead of giving gifts to adults on my list, I would take the money I would have spent and donate it to my favorite charity, a local food bank. I texted family members that in lieu of their gift to me, they should do the same. They were all thrilled with the idea.

Too many families on Long Island and in our nation are food insecure. In the spirit of the season and throughout the year, we need to remember all those who, for whatever reason, are not as fortunate.

As Winston Churchill supposedly said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

— Joe Gentile, Melville

Changes needed for proper health care

After each election cycle, I always have renewed hope that our lawmakers will look at the issues plaguing our nation in a pragmatic and bipartisan fashion.

Particularly, elected officials should turn their attention to needed health care changes that make sense for patients, such as reforming insurance and regulating pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

I am an oral surgeon and often see patients who have had to put medical care on the back burner for a long time because their insurance and PBMs do not cover it, or out-of-pocket costs are too high.

In the long run, they develop complications because the preventative measures and yearly check-ins were unavailable and inaccessible to them.

Instead of insurance companies and PBMs looking out for the patients they claim to help, they have created extra headaches for patients who just want to get their health back on track.

Our state lawmakers should discuss bipartisan PBM legislation and recognize the opportunity for real health care reforms that help patients get the care they need.

— Dr. Keith Fisher, Smithtown

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