letters to the editor March 16 to 22

Reminding the state of its obligations and more

Posted 3/14/23

The state is reminded of its obligations

The following is a letter to Sullivan County legislative chair Rob Doherty from the UDC. It is reprinted with permission.

Dear Chairperson …

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letters to the editor March 16 to 22

Reminding the state of its obligations and more


The state is reminded of its obligations

The following is a letter to Sullivan County legislative chair Rob Doherty from the UDC. It is reprinted with permission.

Dear Chairperson Doherty,

The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) expresses appreciation for your letters dated February 16, 2023, sent to New York State Senator Peter Oberacker (51st District) and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (100th District) re: NYS Budget and Legislation for 2023, in which you advocated for state funding consideration for our organization.

You accurately wrote, “The Delaware River Management Plan, which created the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) in Narrowsburg, outlined a 60 percent federal/40 percent states cost-sharing ratio based on a $500,000 annual operating budget to subsidize the UDC’s critical work. Thirty-seven years since the plan’s adoption, New York has never contributed any of its envisioned $100,000 share. I’m sure you agree it’s high time for funding to be allocated, lest we endanger the UDC’s future.”

Thank you for initiating this valuable outreach on behalf of the six Sullivan County towns along the Upper Delaware River and our bi-state membership that is actively working with our receptive state lawmakers to rectify this situation.

Laurie Ramie

UDC Executive Director

Narrowsburg, NY

Democrats’ suicidal march

The Democratic party, sometimes justifiably, has offered itself as the defender of Medicare, the country’s deeply popular program of health care for seniors and people with disabilities. Many Republicans, historically suspicious of the “socialist” programs of Social Security and Medicare, consistently look for strategies to chip away at the foundations of both. When President George W. Bush in 2005 pushed for at least partial privatization of Social Security, the American public rebelled, and his proposal was buried.

In 2023, we see an accelerating movement toward the privatization of Medicare. And who is currently leading the charge? Democrats—that’s right, Democrats—though in a far more under-the-radar movement than in 2005. Both Republicans and Democrats can be blamed for the decades-long progression to the fact that about half of American seniors now are insured with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans rather than traditional Medicare (TM). 

Critical to understand: Medicare Advantage is NOT Medicare. Most MA plans are owned by big for-profit insurance companies that have shareholders’ interests to consider. How are patients’ interests likely to fare with that competition? You decide. 

MA plans can work well for those who stay healthy, but when serious problems arise, denials of treatments often emerge, and MA companies cherry-pick healthier applicants. They also “upcode”: send to the government dubious diagnoses that provoke additional reimbursements.

Now, the Biden administration has inexplicably advanced a program created by Trump’s White House, called REACH  (bit.ly/3ZVcSty). This year it authorizes 132 provider networks (many owned by big insurers) to set up agreements with the government, which allow them to take 25 percent of unused funds in a contracted amount for profit.

Contrast this scheme with Traditional Medicare, whose baseline administrative costs are set at two percent. Remember those shareholders’ interests weighed against patient care (bit.ly/3Zxd5DJ)?

If Democrats don’t put a hard stop to this spiraling privatization of Medicare, they will find it impossible to run in 2028 or 2032 as defenders of Medicare. Their slogan: we saved Medicare by turning it over to for-profit corporate monoliths. Is that a slogan they want to run on? Democratic politicians, beware. 

Tom Denton

Highland, NY

Only two candidates care about DVSD students

According to a March 4 post on Dawn Bukaj’s Facebook page, Delaware Valley School District (DVSD) school board incumbent candidates Bukaj, Jack Fisher and Christine Agron—as well as newcomer Brian Fells—have sought and received the endorsement of MAGA personality Teddy Daniels. 

You may remember Mr. Daniels from his barrage of homophobic insults towards Milford Borough and its mayor in an interview with then-mayoral candidate Lisa Emery Scheibner, the suspension of his gun rights after being accused of domestic violence, his participation in the January 6 insurrection, or his violent social media threats against liberals and the LGBTQ community.

Seeking his endorsement means that these incumbents cosign his hateful, violent and homophobic rhetoric. These candidates are no better than the “Patriots” of Pike County slate; and in a functioning society, a school board election wouldn’t be fought between two slates of far-right candidates trying to outdo one another in a race to the bottom.

Unfortunately, there are only two candidates currently in this race that I believe have the best interest of DVSD students at heart. Brian Carso and Rosemary Walsh have proven track records of service to our school community. They will help provide balance to a school board that desperately needs it. I encourage the responsible adults among DVSD primary voters to vote for Brian Carso and Rosemary Walsh and to use their remaining ballot slots to write in community members they would trust to secure their children’s civil rights and safety. Don’t vote for radical right-wing hate.

Frank Feeley

Milford, PA

letters to the editor, upper delaware council, democrats, medicare, biden administration, dvsd,


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