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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018

An arrangement of opioid pills.

An arrangement of opioid pills. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

As I read Sharon Richmond’s opinion piece about how the insurance company denied her son the treatment he so desperately needed for drug abuse and how she lost him to a fentanyl overdose [“My son wanted to end his addiction,” Nov. 29], I was transported back in time.

Fifteen years ago, my own child needed help for opioid addiction. The insurance company agreed to detox treatment at a hospital for about three days, but then it was an uphill battle to get longer care at inpatient treatment centers. I spent countless hours on the phone with the insurer to get our child that kind of treatment through four relapses. My husband and I fought hard. The treatment centers helped, but it was on us to get the insurer to pay each time.

No parent should have to go through this while dealing with a child who is struggling with this awful disease. I am so sorry that it continues. We were lucky. Our child made it and is still with us today, thriving, because of a family that would not give up, dedicated treatment professionals and our faith in our child.

President Donald Trump promised in his first State of the Union speech to fight the drug epidemic and provide treatment for this deadly disease. He has done virtually nothing to stem the tide. We are losing a generation of young people. The problem is in every community. No one is immune. We need to demand that Congress get to work and start doing something before we lose any more of our young people.

Trish Burr, Freeport

Not happy with

changes at GM

When General Motors was foundering on the shoals of bankruptcy, seeking extraordinary relief after its poor business decisions, entire nations came together to buttress the incompetents there, including a multi-billion-dollar bailout from the U.S. government during the 2008-09 economic downturn.

Now because of the trade war begun by President Donald Trump, combined with Detroit’s characteristic failure to design cars people want to buy, the company is going to betray members of the United Auto Workers, its white-collar lifetime employees and communities that rallied to save it — all for the sake of soulless equity holders [“GM: Layoffs ahead,” News, Nov. 27].

When GM next teeters near going belly up, let its executives fall off the cliff like lemmings. MAGA: making America groan again.

Edward B. “Woody” Ryder IV, Greenlawn

I was surprised that GM foresees 14,000 layoffs and is reducing production of sedans.

To have only trucks and SUVs on the road is ridiculous. They make more money for the company, but that rationale leaves many folks with fewer options. Sedan cars have been around for a long time and proved invaluable. Imagine even more trucks and SUVs going to the train station or just for errands. They use more gas, occupy extra space and are often unnecessary for single people, small families or seniors.

As a Chevy Cruze owner, I am a big fan of GM. I hope all sedans will not disappear. If anything, downsizing to smaller vehicles makes more sense, though less money for the company. I hope GM changes its mind.

Julie L. Newman, West Babylon

Deliveries to work? Consider your courier.

Your Nov. 30 news story “Tips to keep parcels safe” quoted Nassau County officials as recommending that people avoid theft by having online purchases delivered to their workplaces.

I’m a courier for the Suffolk County Water Authority, where our mailroom accepts deliveries. I, in turn, have to fill out a form for each package, deliver it and get a signature.

So before you have a Barbie DreamHouse delivered to your job, think about the poor courier. Shipping online isn’t so easy for everyone.

George Ghossn, East Islip

Albany lawmakers don’t deserve raises

It is unconscionable that a salary increase would be considered for the New York State Legislature when it already is one of the nation’s highest-paid part-time government bodies. It is in session 60 days out of six months of the year, for which the average salary is $92,000 when adding stipends [“Pay raise panel must get tough,” Editorial, Dec. 4].

The lawmakers’ legislative productivity is negligible. If our legislators were to pass unblemished and comprehensive measures for ethics reform, government accountability and easier access to the ballot, with full transparency and demonstrated fiscal responsibility, perhaps than we could entertain salary increases.

The first order of business seems to be not the people’s business, but their own — tapping the treasury, soaking the taxpayer and enriching themselves. Why should we incentivize more of the same? If legislators are unable to survive on what we pay them, perhaps they should leave office.

It is not a question of how long they have gone without an increase, but rather what value have they brought to the state and the taxpayer.

Michael Berman, Wantagh