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Good Evening

Hold health insurance premiums at bay

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/cnythzl

I received a notice from my health insurer that it is requesting a 16.8% premium increase for next year because of costs associated with COVID-19. This increase will require me using almost my entire stimulus payment.

Many companies lost most, if not all, of their income when forced to shut down. These companies likely will also look to increase prices. But there is a difference — if consumers don’t want to pay those increases, they don’t need to do so. We don’t have the same choice with health insurance. Why should the insurers be the ones not to suffer financial hardships, especially since they generate premium income anyway?

I urge the governor to see that insurance premium increases are frozen for next year. Affordable health insurance is already nonexistent.

Richard Greubel,


Ban the sale of tobacco products

I see COVID-19 as showing that our government values every American life and that we will go to extremes to prevent the death of any American. We make sure health care workers have the personal protective equipment needed and allow the quarantine to cause financial ruin to many individuals and companies. So why don’t the politicians value the lives of Americans who use tobacco products such as cigarettes the same way?

More than 480,000 Americans die every year from diseases related to using tobacco with more than 9 million preventable deaths since 9/11 in 2001. Fixing this problem will not only save millions of lives but also save more than $170 billion in annual medical costs.

The solution will not cause financial ruin to the American people. In fact, people who currently use tobacco products will save money not wasted on cigarettes and potentially save with reduced medical expenses. The sale and use of tobacco products, including cigarettes, should be banned immediately.

Russell TumSuden,

West Islip

School vote anonymity threatened this year

School voting should be anonymous. I have difficulty comprehending that we mailed our school budget/trustee election ballots with our names on them back to the people proposing to raise our school taxes again.

Who thought that was a good idea? I’ve been involved with the Emmy Awards for 30 years as chairman in New York and am on the National Emmy Awards Committee. After an industry peer votes, the ballot is put in an envelope and mailed to a tabulating accounting firm. This school vote process needs be revisited so there is no possibility of interference from school employees.

Jerry Romano,

Sea Cliff