Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 04.21.22

Stefanik Votes Against Helping Americans with Prescriptions

At the end of March, the House of Representatives passed H.R.6833 – Affordable Insulin Now Act [Congress.gov]. ​​The act would cap insulin prices at either $35 a month or 25% of an insurance plan’s negotiated price — whichever is lower. A survey found that people with diabetes who depend on insulin cut back or skip doses putting their lives at risk—1 in 4 insulin users have said cost has impacted their insulin use [American Diabetes Association].

According to New York Department of Health, 7.7% of the population of Rensselaer County are diabetic [health.ny.gov]. That means 12,000 people in Rensselaer County are diabetic and likely need some form of insulin. Congresswoman Stefanik voted against helping Americans with this issue. 

Since 1996, the cost of insulin has increased 1200% (from $21 to $275) [American Journal of Managed Care]. Yet, the value of the dollar has changed much less. The price of insulin has not changed with the value of the dollar. Insulin is produced by only 3 companies, with no generic options, abusive patent practices, and other reasons.

The day after Rep. Stefanik voted against helping Americans with prescription drug costs, Sen. Gillibrand was with Assemblyman John McDonald promoting Sen. Gillibrand’s bill to help Americans with prescription. Sen. Gillibrand’s bill would match the cost of certain drugs to the prices paid in similar countries. Sen. Gillibrand’s bill also allows for the importation of drugs from Canada.

We need more efforts to reduce the costs of drugs and healthcare in the U.S. We need members of Congress working to improve the situation rather than resisting good ideas.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush

APCSD BOE Candidates Need to Focus on Relevant Issues

I am an AP parent and I think the focus of this year’s school board election has moved away from actual issues in our district- the loss of bus drivers and district staff, old and failing infrastructure, and many others, to issues that don’t exist within our schools. 

Here are a few: Mask mandates and vaccine requirements are decisions that are made at the state level. School board members have no say in whether students wear masks or are required to be vaccinated. This is not a BOE issue. My school-age children benefit from Social Emotional Learning, as does every student whether or not they have been in crisis. 

If they’ve had a bad day or are just sad or upset, they are supported by adults who know what they need. It’s hard to measure the other benefits of SEL because you can’t measure what doesn’t happen. School shootings, suicides, fights, suspensions… all of these don’t happen, or don’t happen as much, in part because of SEL. SEL isn’t a trojan horse, it is a critical part of children’s education and development. My children have also benefitted from lessons about slavery, segregation, discrimination, and racism. These have always been age-appropriate lessons that never involved Critical Race Theory, which is a graduate level course. My kids have never felt guilty, but they do come home with questions we can talk about as a family. 

Mostly what ignoring social issues does is create young adults who are ignorant about, and isolated from, the larger world. My kids are loved and valued by their teachers, and my parental voice has always been heard and valued when I reach out to anyone in the district. I don’t always agree with their decisions, but I respect them because they are experts in what they do. I wish the focus of these elections would be on topics that actually affect our kids and schools. Please get to know the candidates’ platforms and vote on May 17th!

Erin Berical, Averill Park

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