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Pandemic predators

Dear Editor,
I’m shocked by accusations that “nonprofit” hospitals sued patients and filed liens against their homes during the COVID crisis, despite receiving state emergency funds.
The Coalition for Affordable Hospitals, a group of labor unions, claims that 55 hospitals sued nearly 4,000 patients for medical debt while getting over $442 million from the state’s Indigent Care Pool.
These pandemic predators exploited taxpayers and patients out of sheer greed. Among the worst culprits, says the Coalition, is Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system a biggest private employer with 23 hospitals, 650 outpatient facilities and more than 70,000 staffers.
Its president & CEO, Michael Dowling, got a total compensation exceeding $4 million last year, ten times higher than President Joe Biden’s salary. Not bad for the head of an enterprise designated as a “nonprofit, tax exempt” organization by New York State and the federal government.
In television commercials, hospitals portray themselves as compassionate lifelines to their communities. But their bottom line takes top priority in real life.
They are nonprofit profiteers who violated a basic mandate of medicine: “First, do no harm.” State leaders and regulatory agencies must probe and penalize them for financial abuse.
Sincerely,
Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Ceiling talk

Dear Editor,
Dispatcher Larry Penner wrote last week that raising our national debt ceiling by $480 billion is nothing to be proud of. He’s right.
But as usual, he is incorrect in blaming Democrats and President Joe Biden for the costs incurred by the GOP.
How difficult is it to understand that Democrats are forced to pay the bills rung up by Republicans, just like parents paying the credit card bills of their irresponsible children?
Mr. Penner wonders where the money will come from to pay for all the infrastructure needs. Could Donald Trump’s permanent tax cuts for billionaires be to blame?
Sincerely,
Robert LaRosa, Sr.
Whitestone

Petulant child

Dear Editor,
Republicans refuse to raise the debt limit in order to pay for the debt they incurred.
The GOP is the teenager who steals their parents’ credit card, runs up a huge bill and crashes the family car. As usual, Democrats (the parents) have to pay the bill and get the car towed out of the ditch.
Republicans had no problem voting in favor of permanent tax cuts for billionaires, but funding to expand dental, vision and hearing care for seniors? Provisions to fight climate change and curb prescription drug prices? Taking care of veterans? “That’s where they draw the line? What a complete disgrace.
Insanity and disaster are the Republican agenda. Senator Mitch McConnell would rather drive a car into a brick wall and set off an economic catastrophe than do his job, which is to pay for what he already spent during the Trump presidency.
Sincerely,
Robert LaRosa, Sr.
Whitestone

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