Letters: Slossberg, public employees, ‘facts,’ Supreme Court

I wish to update your readers on the issues with Access Health CT and correct an error in my letter published in last week’s Bulletin.

First, I received a call from an Access Health CT supervisor on May 5 who explained that one small issue remained to be resolved. We were able to do so over the phone and now I can rest assured that all the issues I have had with Access Health CT have been settled.

Second, in the time between writing my letter in April and publication last week, I did receive a call from Senator Slossberg’s office regarding my concerns. I immediately asked the editor to remove any language indicating otherwise from my letter. While the changes were made in the New Haven Register, they were not in the Bulletin.

I regret any embarrassment to Senator Slossberg this may have caused. Senator Slossberg was able to answer my questions about how Access Health CT operates and whom to contact.

It is a quasi-public agency formed by the lieutenant governor, not part of the administrative branch. The bigger question is what will be done to improve both how this agency operates and health insurance options for residents.

With all the uncertainty about health insurance emanating from Congress, I urge Senator Slossberg, Representative Klarides and their colleagues in Hartford to pass legislation creating a public option for Connecticut. Getting and paying for health insurance need not be the worrisome process it currently is.

Andrew Danzig Woodbridge

Across the country and in communities like ours, government employees serve and protect us every day. Throughout the year, but especially during Public Service Recognition Week, May 7-13, we should gratefully acknowledge their service.

I want to personally thank all public employees.

Public employees are there for us at the local, state and federal level. They work side by side with our military at home and abroad to defend our country and provide care to our veterans. They protect our communities from violence, teach our children, deliver our mail and safeguard the safety of our food and medicines. They ensure these essential functions are financed, that Social Security checks arrive on time, and that our borders and airports are secure.

When disasters occur, they come to our rescue and help us recover.

I had the privilege of working for the Social Security Administration for 39 years, mostly in the New Haven office. During that time I served with an extraordinary group of dedicated staff working for the people of the surrounding communities. Our constant focus was, and remains, to provide individual attention and world-class service to each and every person who contacted us.

Whether it is someone who needs a Social Security card, a person applying for retirement or disability benefits, or a widow dealing with the loss of a spouse, we are there to provide them the assistance they expect and deserve.

During Public Service Recognition Week, please join me in thanking and recognizing the important work of the public employees in our community.

— Joseph M. Kelly North Haven

Susan Klein (Letters, April 30, May 4) clearly needs a reality check, because all her smears against Israel exist only in her imagination. In reality Israel is the only country in the Middle East to ban the death penalty, to provide equal rights for gays and lesbians, to include minority representatives (3 Arab members) in its parliament, to provide equal support for both Jewish and Arab union members, to declare both Hebrew and Arabic official languages, to provide equality for Arab women, to provide its Arab citizens with the highest standard of living in the Middle East, to stream free water and electricity to Gazans in response to Palestinian missiles. And this is the country that Klein compares to Nazi Germany.

Simultaneously, Klein ignores the constant murders by Palestinians like those of Eitan (a doctoral student) and Na’ama (an artist) Henkin in their Subaru while their little children hid under the back seat — murders celebrated by Palestinians who teach schoolchildren that Jews are subhuman and must be exterminated. She also ignores that Palestinians rejected one UN offer (1947) and two Israeli offers of independent statehood (2000, 2008), choosing terror over peace.

I guess Kellyanne Conway is not alone in subscribing to “alternative facts.”

— Dr. Rosette Liberman Milford

A word of caution when proposing age or term limits to the judiciary.

In Federalist 78 Hamilton argues a judiciary dependent upon the other branches for periodic reappointment would “be fatal to their necessary independence.” Rather than consulting jurisprudence, justices would demonstrate “an unwillingness to hazard the displeasure of either (branch).”

Few possess the talent and the integrity to serve on the Supreme Court. Anything short of lifetime appointments would discourage the best “from quitting a lucrative line of practice to accept a seat on the bench,” rendering it to “hands less able and less well-qualified.” With regards to lifetime appointments, where else in our government does this happen? Nowhere, for good reason. The legislature faces frequent re-elections to remain subject to the public will. Executive term limits prevent a consolidation of power. In contrast, the judiciary’s success lies in its independence from external control.

Age restriction on justices presents two dilemmas. First, it yields power to younger individuals still intent on career advancement. Second, it sets a precedent via constitutional amendment that age discrimination is acceptable. The New York Times reported last week that the proceedings of Maslenjak v. U.S. featured Justice Kagan, 57, spending several minutes questioning an attorney. Justice Ginsburg, age 84, clarified the exchange with a single question. Kagan replied, “That’s such a shorter statement of my question. It’s perfect.” She still sounds sharp to Kagan. As I scramble to limit this letter to 250 words, I imagine Justice Ginsburg could sum it up in 25.

— Erik Johnson Milford