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LETTERS: Health care, MTA safety and more


Let's phase in Medicare for all


Eligibility for Medicare should be dropped to 55 years of age immediately, and every five years after, drop it another 10 years until every person in our country is protected with insurance.

Easy - done. Stop caring so much for other countries' well being. Care about us.

James Murtha




Don't let MTA woes compromise safety


Do you really want to put a price on safety ? You stated there has not been a fatal collision since the 1950s. While that is true, there have been collisions; luckily none were fatal, but how long do you want to push that luck?

Long Island Rail Road employees take safety extremely seriously; however there is, and will always be, the possibility of human error. Positive Train Control is essentially a modern electronic version of the subway "tripper system" - it prevents a train from passing a stop signal.

Commuters' safety should not be gambled with due to the MTA's budget problems, nor should they look to eliminate jobs or cut service. Public transportation systems do not make money; they are essential government services and must be maintained and modernized to ensure a viable economy, a modern infrastructure and a valuable state asset. We owe the taxpayers that.

Christopher Natale


Editor's note: The writer is general chairman of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen.



Senate should pass clean heating oil bill


The American Lung Association in New York is hopeful that a bill before the State Senate to require the use of cleaner home heating oil is acted upon quickly . This legislation would improve both air quality and public health by reducing the sulfur content in home heating oil.

Exhaust particles that form from the use of sulfur- laden oil exacerbate allergies, trigger asthma attacks, decrease lung function, cause heart attacks and shorten life expectancy. And when we consider that New York leads the nation in the number of homes heated by oil, it's clear that this bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of air we all breathe. If it were enacted, the effect on our air would be equivalent to shutting down two and a half of New York's dirty old coal-fired power plants.

The Senate has a real opportunity to improve our air quality and the public health by passing this commonsense legislation immediately.

Scott T. Santarella


Editor's note: The writer is president of the American Lung Association in New York.


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