Blaming the Republicans for attempting to defund Obamacare would be far more compelling if the president had not unilaterally changed parts of the law five times ["Shutdown spurs partisan attacks," News, Oct. 7].

One of those changes was a one-year delay of the employer mandate. Is it outrageous that Republicans would like to delay the individual mandate, extending this same privilege to working people?

The health care sector makes up 18 percent of the U.S. economy, and Obamacare will radically transform the health care delivery system. This act was passed without a single Republican vote.

Republican ideas for tort reform and the ability to purchase insurance across state lines were never incorporated. The candidate who stated that he didn't want to pit red America against blue America has fallen far short of that campaign pledge.

Margaret Read Federico, Massapequa

The older I get, the more I realize the job of a politician is not to get something done, but to make sure the other party doesn't get anything done.

Seems like the bipartisan ship sailed a long time ago.

Bruce Conger, Seaford

My son-in-law is a career Navy submariner who is on a six-month deployment. I asked my daughter if the government shutdown is affecting them. She confirmed that they will not receive sea pay, deployment separation pay or hazardous duty pay. They are also owed a re-enlistment installment payment. The only payment will be his base pay.

As a result, their bills will go unpaid. The GOP shutdown of our government is impacting the safety and security of our country.

In the 2014 elections, the American people can make a clear statement to the GOP. Just whose side are you on, the side of the tea party or of the United States?

Warren Goercke, Bayport

Whether Democrats like it or not, in accordance with our Constitution, the Congress controls the purse strings. It is well within Congress' constitutional authority to defund any federal program, including Obamacare.

The law should be tabled if for no other reason than it is no longer what it was when it was passed. According to the Congressional Research Service, the president has already signed 14 laws that amend, rescind or otherwise change parts of his health care law, and he's taken five independent steps to delay Obamacare on his own.

The news media blame the Republican-led House for playing parliamentary tricks, while it was the Democratically controlled Senate that shut down the government, by voting against a bill that funded all of government except for Obamacare.

Mike Quadrino, Smithtown

Depression a factor in Capitol chase

News accounts of recent events in Washington point to the Capitol chase suspect's history of postpartum depression ["Seeking a motive," News, Oct. 5]. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maternal depression affects up to 19 percent of mothers and 4 percent of fathers within the first year after birth. The good news is that the negative consequences of postpartum depression are preventable with proper mental health screening and treatment.

The CDC instituted a surveillance project aimed at early identification of maternal depression. Two questions that they asked moms were: 1) Since your new baby was born, how often have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless? and 2) Since your new baby was born, how often have you had little interest or little pleasure in doing things? The women who answered "often" or "always" to either question were classified as experiencing self-reported postpartum depressive symptoms.

We must encourage primary care physicians and other health professionals to incorporate these questions into their encounters with patients.

Andrew Malekoff, Long Beach

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director for the North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center in Manhasset.

Harbor Isle plan and Nov. election

More than 100 people showed up for the Hempstead Town Board's hearing last week regarding a request by Posillico Development Corp. and AvalonBay to modify the number of rentable units in the proposed Harbor Isle development ["Harbor Isle: Reserved decision on housing project," News, Oct. 3].

The board covenant allows only 10 percent to be rental units. Of the originally proposed high-end condominiums, only 32 of 172 units would be available for sale, and the rest would rent for between $2,800 and $5,000 a month.

C'mon, this isn't Rockville Centre or Garden City, which are the locations of other AvalonBay projects. Island Park is a tiny community with just enough infrastructure to get by, and barely enough parking spots at the train station.

By and large, most residents are strongly opposed and said as much. Our elected representatives, including senior town Councilman Anthony Santino and Town Supervisor Kate Murray are up for re-election next month. Rather than face the ire of a community poised to lose its identity, they chose to "reserve" their decision. Rather than them postponing this decision until after the election, many voters want to know now how they will vote.

Richard J. Paine Sr., Island Park


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