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Letters: New Yorkers need health coverage

A bill for single-payer health insurance in New

A bill for single-payer health insurance in New York has been stalled for years in the New York State Legislature. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto / courtneyk

I am broke due to medical expenses, and I am not alone.

My out-of-pocket, unreimbursed medical expenses for 2013-17 exceeded $56,500, not including my monthly premium. That’s more than $11,000 a year, or over $940 a month, every month, for five years. Calculating my preliminary costs for 2018, my expenses will again exceed $11,000.

For several years, the State Assembly has passed the New York Health Act, a state version of Medicare for all, but it died in the Senate, where the Republican-led chamber refused to bring it up for a vote. Voters were told that if we flipped the Senate to blue, that Democrats would pass the legislation.

Now that Democrats control the State Legislature and the governorship, we need to see swift action on the health act [“Legislature poised to reassert its power,” News, Jan. 1]. We need it passed this year, with flip-the-switch implementation on Jan. 1, 2020.

We cannot afford any delay, and we cannot afford a phased-in implementation. Progress cannot leave anyone behind and cannot drag its feet. It’s life and death.

Eric Gemunder, Huntington Station

Workers will require interpersonal skills

Five high school students gave their opinions on how technology helps them and other students [“Students weigh in on tech’s pros and cons,” LI Life, Jan. 6].

Each clearly believes there are more pros than cons when using technology in school. One student from Kellenberg Memorial High School said turning off iPads and giving technology a rest helps students enjoy other school activities, like sports and clubs. She pointed out an important fact: Students need to develop face-to-face communication and interpersonal skills.

Technology and soft skills, the term used today to describe people, life and interpersonal skills, are all important. Actually, calling them “soft skills” makes little sense. They are hard-core skills that businesses look for in interns, applicants, employees and leaders.

Bob Wolf, Rockville Centre

Editor’s note: The writer is a career skills readiness trainer.