Queens Blvd. Left Out?
To The Editor:
The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21) $375 billion federal highway legislation in Congress, expired on Sept. 30, 2003. The U.S. Senate and U.S. House passed a stop-gap bill (H.R. 3087) to extend TEA 21 until some time in February 2004. This extension provides more than $14 billion for highways which will permit the various states to continue the federal highway program around the country.
Unfortunately, when this bill was being worked on in August 2001 there were people in New York City who decided that Queens Boulevard need not be part of this transportation program.
We now continue to be faced today, October 2003, with a staggering number of deaths, 84 to be exact, on Queens Boulevard, the "killer highway," thousands of injured persons, many now in wheelchairs, and a young Queens fireman who is a quadriplegic patient in an upstate facility. There are no statistics on the number of persons who died from their injuries.
On the eve of our second memorial church service for the Queens Boulevard dead and injured, our government officials have been silent as to the disposition of highway funds necessary to re-engineer this "Boulevard of Death." There seems to be no federal, state and city elected politicians clamoring for funds to re-engineer Queens Boulevard to prevent the carnage of death and horrific injuries incurred by people who live among us.
Estelle and Norbert Chwat
Forest Hills Action League
Grim Medicare Changes
To The Editor:
I just heard on the television news that the powers that be are planning to increase the total deductions from the Social Security checks each month to the highest it has been in years. The total will be over $66. In addition, cuts will be made in other Part B areas of Medicare that will have a negative impact upon the lives of senior citizens and disabled recipients.
The deductibles annually that recipients must pay to doctors will be increased and home care payments by Medicare after hospitalization will no longer be free of charge. Senior citizens and disabled Social Security recipients are the most vulnerable segment of our population and Medicare, which has been the universal health care program for these people since 1965, must not be decreased in any manner.
Any one of us, including lawmakers and the president, will live to become a senior citizen, or God forbid, may become disabled and unable to work. Thus, anyone can be a Medicare recipient. They must empathize with those who have to pay more. Living on a fixed income in these inflationary times, prescription medications and rent and food prices are high and now, the Social Security income in the checks that recipients receive each month will be greatly decreased. How must recipients pay for these necessary items?
Our lawmakers must consider the needs of the recipients first and foremost before changing Medicare Part B. Medicare must not be touched, altered or changed.
We must lobby today, because the non-recipients of today will become the Medicare recipients of tomorrow. Foreign affairs and wars seem to be the budgetary necessity and our governmental officials must consider the needs of our senior citizens and disabled people first and foremost.
Long Island City