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LETTERS: Insurance denial, pensions and more


Insurance denial played role in crash


That Kayla Gerdes was high on Xanax and oxycodone does not relieve her of responsibility for the death of Rebecca Twine ["Anger, grief, apology," News, April 22], but what about the managers and medical director of the insurance company who denied payment for Gerdes' rehabilitation after only seven days?

But for their actions, she would have been in her eighth day of treatment, rather than behind the wheel of a van. It is time that the agents of insurance companies who deny payment for needed medical services be held accountable for their decisions.

Michael McClain

St. James



Pensions are high, and tax-free, too


The outrageous, obscene numbers in "The soaring cost of state pensions" News, April 18] are almost unbelievable. Yet everyone connected to the many government groups seems to share the same arrogance, that they deserve every penny and don't feel the least bit guilty, that it is strangling our communities' finances. The rub is we, the private sector workers, pay for everything: big salaries and bigger retirements.

Most taxpayers don't even know that those retirement salaries that hit $100,000 a year are New York State tax- free, while every private sector retiree pays New York State taxes on income earned. That means more than 800,000 municipal retirees in the state do not pay one nickel in state income taxes. How fair is that for the rest of us?

Nick Giroffi




Food store proposal shows concern for all


A recent letter writer implies that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is overreaching her scope of duty when she is concerned about areas in our state that have no grocery stores. I am willing to bet that there is at least one car in the driveway of the writer's home, and I doubt she has any trouble getting to a grocery store from where she lives. But many towns, especially where there is a large population of the less-affluent, have no food stores, and people without cars can't just go shopping when the mood strikes them. Public transportation has never been a strong presence on Long Island, and we read daily about cuts to the bus and rail service we do have.

It's disturbing that the writer goes on to imagine a government takeover of the grocery business. Every time this kind of wild exaggeration and rampant imagination gains an audience we, as a nation, lose a little bit of our ability to engage in civil discourse. We became a great country because people care about each other and because we have been able to entertain more than one point of view. I hope that "we the people" are smart enough and kind enough to keep it that way.

Helen Wernlund

Deer Park