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Newsday letters to the editor Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mourners gather during a candlelight vigil, May 19,

Mourners gather during a candlelight vigil, May 19, 2017 in Lindenhurst, held for Diane Aluska, who was killed on Mother's Day after a vehicle overshot the curb in reverse. Credit: Johnny Milano

Don’t put Medicaid burden on counties

Newsday is dead wrong in its description of my amendment to the American Health Care Act [“Foolish addition to GOP health bill,” Editorial, May 15].

Ending New York’s 50-year-old policy of imposing part of the state share of Medicaid on local property taxpayers is an important goal and one which will be welcomed by long-suffering homeowners in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Newsday’s editorial mentions that 15 other states pay a portion of their Medicaid costs with local taxes. True, but the editorial leaves out the important point: New York State’s Medicaid mandate accounted for an astonishing $7.2 billion of the $9.5 billion total local-government Medicaid burden across the entire United States. This is one reason New York property taxes are so high.

Second, it would be up to the counties to lower their property tax burdens once relieved of this mandate, and it would become a political imperative for local officials to do so. Albany would have until 2020 to prepare to assume this burden, reduce Medicaid waste and fraud, and reduce spending in other areas.

Last, our state ranks among the worst states in the nation in which to do business, and people are leaving for better opportunities or less-costly retirements elsewhere. Ending Albany’s Medicaid mandate would save property owners in Nassau and Suffolk counties more than $496 million each year.

Those who prosper from the big-spending status quo are against my amendment; those who have to pay the bills are for it.

Rep. John Faso, Kinderhook

Editor’s note: The writer represents New York’s 19th Congressional District.

Require road tests for older drivers

The death of Diane Aluska and injury to her daughter in a car accident raise serious questions [“Mom sacrifices life,” News, May 15].

Aluska was hit by a car with an 80-year-old woman behind the wheel. Why was she driving? The National Transportation Safety Board says drivers in their 70s and older have high accident rates because their reflexes, coordination and motor skills decline.

If older people want to drive, motor vehicle bureaus should test their road skills every two years and not automatically renew their licenses. I’m 77 years old and don’t drive because I don’t need to. But if I did, I’d be a danger to everyone on the road, including me. My proposal isn’t discriminatory; it’s common sense that could save lives.

Richard Reif, Flushing


The state has to change its motor vehicle regulations. A road test should be required at a certain age. I am sure the American Medical Association could recommend an appropriate age. What a great way to raise money for the state, save lives and stop needless heartache.

Scott K.Miller, ShorehamIn disbelief that some still stand with Trump

It’s incomprehensible to me how anyone could continue to support President Donald Trump.

One of the people interviewed in your May 14 news story “How Trump voters feel today” said he approves of Trump’s aggressive tone in foreign policy. Let’s hope those words and actions don’t provoke our adversaries into new or escalated wars.

Another man hopes Trump’s tax reform goes through. He just might find himself paying more in income taxes, since the reform does away with many deductions, including for the astronomical property taxes we pay on Long Island.

One woman wants high-quality, low-cost health care. We will never have this as long as health care is for profit and insurance companies are involved.

As an electorate with the awesome freedom to vote our leaders into office, we have the responsibility to ignore propaganda-based opinion sources and instead rely on credible investigative news sources to educate ourselves about the candidates and issues.

Carol Raab, Coram