I applaud your resolutions for 2020 [“Let us aim to do better,” Editorial, Jan. 1].
I would like to add another resolution/goal. We must work for equity for our citizens with mental health concerns. People with mental health issues do not receive the same percentage of payment for mental health-related services as do their friends and neighbors with physical health bills.
New York State has mental health equity laws but they are not always adhered to. We must have provider-prevails laws. Psychiatrists must be able to prescribe medication they believe will benefit patients. Often, mentally ill people must fail with other medicines before the doctors’ original choices are followed. We also need appropriate mental health housing with wraparound supportive services. Mental health care workers must receive decent, appropriate salaries.
Solitary confinement in prisons for mentally ill patients, as well as people without mental health issues, must end. It is inhumane and often exacerbates conditions. The key word is health. There should be equal treatment for all health conditions.
Editor’s note: The writer is president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness for Nassau and Queens in Lake Success.
A word on cap on state & local taxes
I wonder whether the federal deduction on state and local taxes, now capped at $10,000, is political punishment.
The voters of our state have supported good schools, well-paid uniformed and state workers who provide for those in need. You get what you pay for, and I think we get what is needed to continue the success of Long Island and the state.
Other states don’t provide as we do. It’s their choice. The tax is regressive for communities trying to handle challenges. Why should they be penalized?
Money for the average person helps more than another gift for the lucky few.