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Let's preserve access to health care for all

Two years after its enactment, the federal health care law has had huge benefits for families impacted by cancer. As someone who has lost too many friends and family members to cancer, I know full well how difficult the insurance market can be for those battling the disease. A young adult I know struggled to access cancer treatment due to a lack of health insurance. Although he was faced with a treatment delay, thankfully having a cancer diagnosis did not prevent him from ultimately obtaining insurance.

The good news is that people are benefiting every day from protections in the new law that prohibit insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, from setting arbitrary dollar limits on benefits that can cause the sudden termination of coverage and from rescinding coverage after a policyholder receives a diagnosis. Other provisions enable children with cancer to stay on their parents' health plan until age 26 and give uninsured patients with a pre-existing condition access to affordable health coverage. Beginning in 2014, additional provisions will guarantee health coverage to all applicants regardless of pre-existing health conditions.

Lawmakers in Congress must continue to implement and protect the provisions in the law that make the health care system increasingly accessible and affordable. And our State Legislature must move swiftly to create a state health insurance exchange so that uninsured individuals and small businesses can access affordable, quality care. Having these protections in place will provide peace of mind for millions of New Yorkers, including those fighting cancer.

Assunta Ventresca

Volunteer, American Cancer Society,

Cancer Action Network, Buffalo

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Unnecessary tests raise health costs

What has happened to reducing the cost of medicine by eliminating unnecessary tests? With the Republican state parties demanding that women have sonograms before abortions, they are doing just the opposite. Where are the doctors in all of this? Why hasn't the American Medical Association done something about this?

Why are legislatures, which do not have a licence to practice medicine, allowed to prescribe medical procedures? An individual would be put in jail if he tried that. Talk about big government interfering with the rights of individuals! That is certainly what is happening here. It is about time these state governments start spending money on helping the economy and creating jobs and keep their noses out of private citizens' rights.

Connie Rudes, B.P.S., R.N.

East Amherst

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Requiring photo ID to vote makes sense

A number of states have enacted a law that requires photo ID for voters. Republicans believe this law is necessary to combat voter fraud, while liberals insist this proposal discriminates against minorities, poor people and students. But let's examine the facts.

A photo ID is obtained when you receive a state driver's license, a photo ID is required to receive public assistance and students obtain school IDs while at learning institutions. I cannot recall any occasion where liberals complained about poor people being required to obtain photo ID to collect public assistance or students complaining about obtaining photo ID once they reach the legal drinking age.

By the way, the last time I went to cash a check at the bank, I was required to show photo ID. The last time I purchased over-the-counter sinus medication, I had to go to the pharmacy to get it and I was required to show photo ID. I find it appalling that liberals have a problem with individuals being required to show photo ID for the right and honor to vote in this country, saying it discriminates against people. Give me a break. It makes one wonder how serious voter fraud must be in liberal-controlled areas of this country.

Tom Camizzi

Orchard Park

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SPCA is concerned with horses' welfare

As a longtime contributor to the SPCA, I am appalled that The News indulged Beth Lynne Hoskins with a front-page story, allowing her to stay in denial of her hoarding problem. The debate in this case always seems to be how many people are needed to care for 73 horses. Some horse owners defend her, saying the general public does not understand anything about horse ownership and care. Well, the public does understand that there were 53 cats, and any other person with this many cats would be deemed a hoarder. Somehow this screaming red flag gets lost in the whole debacle. Last time I looked, a horse is a lot bigger than a cat, and we are supposed to believe a horse needs less care than a cat?

Hoskins accuses the SPCA of doing this for fundraising and publicity. What twisted logic. The agency doesn't need the publicity, and it can raise funds just fine. Unfortunately, the SPCA now has to do much more fundraising just to cover the cost of Hoskins' animals. She has diverted precious resources from the SPCA; perhaps it is just chump change to her.

The SPCA's concern is for the animals; Hoskins' concern is for herself.

Debra Benton

Holland

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Move Over Law leads to unsafe lane changes

As a frequent highway business traveler, I can't help but comment on the law requiring motorists to move from the right lane, creating a one-lane buffer between traffic and a roadside incident, whether it be a police car or an emergency vehicle with flashing lights. While I understand the intent of this law, which looks out for the safety of police and others who are roadside, I am concerned with the byproduct, which is unsafe lane changes with little or no warning.

I submit to you that most accidents on a highway occur during a lane change. Typically, traffic in the left lane is moving faster than that in the right lane, so to have slower-moving vehicles suddenly switch to the left lane creates a hazardous environment. This is especially true when a tractor-trailer truck does it, because sometimes the bulk of the truck blocks your view and you don't see the incident creating their need to change lanes.

Before the law, most competent drivers would move over when it was safe to do so out of courtesy. But now, perhaps out of fear of a ticket, vehicles do it whether it is safe to do so or not. I would be interested to see some statistics on how many accidents that never should have been were a product of this law as compared to the few incidents that happened to prompt this law. If you are off to the shoulder of a busy highway, it seems like a no-brainer that you need to stay far enough clear of the roadway to conduct your business safely. Since this law, I have seen several near-misses and have to wonder about the wisdom of it.

Chuck Kritz

West Seneca