By Alex Rankin
A joint committee of the state
Legislature is going to hold five
hearings around the state this
month ( January) on Medicaid.
It is made up of Senators and
Assemblymen and it is called the
Joint Legislative Committee on
the Problems of Public Health,
Medicare, Medicaid and Compulsory
Health and Hospital Insurance.
The members will take seats
behind a long table in some board
of supervisors' chamber or hotel
ballroom. The committee's
lawyers will be there. Microphones
will be on the table so
that everyone can be heard. There
will be stenographers to take
down all the words, or maybe
even a tape recorder.
The members will listen to
people who will tell them what is
wrong with the Medicaid law and
tell them how it ought to be
amended. Having listened, the
Legislators will go back to
Albany, write amendments with
the proper legal language and
submit them. These amendments
will either die in committee, be
voted on and approved and sent
to the governor or voted down.
Whatever happens, legislators
will always be able to say that
public hearings were held- they
listened to the voice of the
Which is the kind of thing that
makes people who hang around
, legislators too long cynical.
This is because at these hearings
the same people always show
up and testify- and the same
people do not show up and testify.
The people who do show up a re
the professional testifiers. They
are either paid for it or are
given titles which go with the
job of doing it.
The people who do not show
up are the common ordinary taxpayers:
the clerks, accountants,
bus drivers, salesmen, machine
operators and assemblyline
workers who punch a clock every
day, the farmers. Every week
they look at their paychecks
wistfully, sometimes angrily,
when they open them up and see
for the hundredth time how much
the accounting department has
taken out for taxes.
These people never show up at
These are the people who get
And Medicaid can be an
Medicaid has gotten to the
point where Gov. Rockefeller is
offering everyone this choice:
either a new payroll deduction
for mandatory health insurance
to help cut the rising costs of
Medicaid, or even more taken
out of your present payroll deduction
for a new state tax hike.
This is an example of why
people who hang around governors
too long get cynical.
Two years ago the legislators
listened to the people who always
show up at public hearings - the
spokesmen for the lobbies and
interest groups, the people who
speak for medical societies,
labor unions and business associations.
And so the Medicaid
bill was passed and the governor
signed it and it is law.
That was, of course, twoyears
before more man a dozen suburban
and upstate counties had done
the unthinkable and for the first
time approved county sales
taxes - all to raise the local
share of Medicaid costs - and
10 more were strongly considering
The most common remark
among legislators went something
like this: " I can't understand
it, these groups that usually
send us reports and studies didn't
tell us anything like this was
going to happen."
That is understandable. Most
legislators' staffs consist of a
secretary to open the mail and
answer the phone. There is a
vacuum. Nature and politics are
against vacuums and this one was
immediately filled by
lobbyists and special interest organizations,
groups that can pay
for research. Many times die
research produces loaded
answers. That is the price of
lawmakers without staffs.
There is also the simple fact
that the common, ordinary people
never showed up at the hearings.
Only the experts did.
The hearings are designed that
The five hearings on Medicaid,
for example, willl be held
beginning at 10 a. m., 10: 30 a. m.
or 1 p. m. That is when most
people are working.
Few employers will let their
workers off to attend a public
And few employees ca/ i afford it.
But here is a list of the Medicaid
hearings anyway. It is not
given in the knowledge that the
people who actually pay die bills
will be there.
These people aren't lawyers or
public speakers anyway and they
would probably stutter , use bad
grammar, and worse yet, complain
about high taxes.
Many legislators would rather
be around professionals. At hearings
they are good. If the occasion
demands, legislators can
pick on diem, jab at them, make
long, angry speeches at them,
praise them, accuse diem. The
professionals never get sore.
After it is all over tiiey go out
to dinner with them. It makes
headlines, all the jabbing and
scoring of debator's points.
The following list is given so
that anyone wanting to watch this
circus can. Seeing is believing.
A word of caution, however. Do
not attend more dian one. You
will be bored. The same people,
the same groups, will be at the
second one. And except for one
or two things to make new headlines,
they will say the same
Jan. 8, 10 a. m.: Westchester
County Center, Little Theater,
Jan. 9, 10: 30 a. m.: State
Office Building, 290 Broadway,
New York City.
Jan. 16, 10: 30 a. m.: Board of
Supervisors' chambers, Onondaga
County Courthouse, Syracuse.
Jan. 23, 10: 30 a. m.: Buffalo
and Erie County Library, La-
Fayette Square, Buffalo.
Jan. 24, 10: 30 a. m.: Mark
Twain Hotel, Elmira.
Jan. 30, 10: 30 a. m.: State Department
of Health auditorium,
84 Holland Avenue, Albany.
Jan. 31, 1 p. m.: State University
Miss Penny Scialla, of 209
Philadelphia Avenue, Massapequa
Park, is a member of the
46- voice Concert Choir of Park
college, Parkville, Missouri,
which was heard in a program
of Christmas music on a national
radio network and several Kansas
City stations during the holiday
* • *
Two Massapequans from St,
John's U n i v e r s i t y have been
selected for inclusion in the 1967-
68 edition of " Who's Who Among
Students in American Universities
and Colleges". They are:
Susan Dunn of 137 Avoca Avenue
and Jean Klugherz of 107 Mas
sapequa Avenue, Massapequa.
* * *
Virginia McKenna of 54 Powell
Street, Farmingdale, was elected
Secretary of the Alumni Association
at State University Agricultural
and Technical College at
Farmingdale. She is employed
by the Cornell Bematode Laboratory
located on the Farming-dale
* * *
John H. Craig Jr., son of Mr.
and Mrs. John H. Craig of 146
Dartmouth Road, Massapequa has
joined the Theta Delta Chi fraternity
at Bowdoin College,
Senator Jacob K. Javits
Reports From Washington
. Keith Silver, - son of Dr. and
Mrs. Irving Jack Silver of Park
Boulevard, Massapequa Park,
has been elected to the Freshman
Senate of Southampton College
of Long Island University.
The Senate is the representational
body of the Freshman Class
and works jointly with the Student
Government Association in
the activities of the College community.
Richard Weichmann of Massapequa,
a student at Nassau
Community College set up a
Santa's Workshop drama to be
performed for the delight of needy
children in Nassau County at
child care centers-
* * *
Three Massapequa Park area
residents are among 830 freshman
and transfer students enrolled
at The State University
College at Potsdam, New York.
The trio consists of Melody Ann
Hilton, 121 Moore Avenue, Massapequa
Park, liberal arts with
a major in foreign language; Judith
Jones, 15 Jacqueline Road,
Massapequa, liberal arts with
a major in psychology; and Christine
Koch, 41 Abbey Street, Massapequa,
liberal arts with a major
The First Session of the 90th
Congress has finally adjourned.
For me, it was a session characterized
by deep frustration in
the face of grave national crisis;
it was a session of inadequacy.
The Nation was deeply troubled
this year by the Vietnam war,
the growing crisis of our cities,
and the threat of international
financial crisis. Yet, the Congress
seemed to be more prev-occupied
with debating the Dodd
case involving the ethics of one
member than passing a much
needed code of ethics for all
Senators and Congressmen. It
seemed perpetually occupied with
disputes between House and Senate
over how best to cut Government
spending, but unwilling
to come to grips with the hard
issues of taxation and inflation.
The pace of the session itself
was also distressing. For example,
other than supplemental
appropriations to cover current
needs, not one appropriation measure
was enacted for five months,
and most of the measures dealing
with the needs of people—
such as social security, anti-poverty
and education— were
held in continuous delay until
the final hours.
Left unresolved were important
measures on civil rights,
higher education, crime prevention
and housing, all of which
are critically needed. Also unresolved
were efforts to establish
guidelines in the search for peace
and an effective program to deal
with fiscal and monetary policies
at home and abroad, especially
in view of the devaluation of the
The Congress did enact several
measures of particular interest
to me. One was the Public
Broadcasting Act of 1967
which will provide F~ S*;- « - » ' 1' -'•*-,
under strict guarantees of freedom
from Federal control, to
noncommercial television and
radio stations and New York,
of course, has such stations in
almost every area of the state.
Congress also passed a bill barring
age discrimination in employment,
a proposal I have been
sponsoring since I was a Congressman
I was particularly gratified
that my assignment on the Appropriations
Committee and my
seniority as ranking minority^
member of the Labor and Public
Welfare Committee enabled
me to help conserve major aspects
of the antipoverty, education,
and welfare programs
from insistent attacks in key
b u i l d i n g s and courthouses
throughout the state.
But, on the whole, the First
Session failed to come to grips
with the most burning issues of
our day. And it remains to be
seen whether or not Congress,
in the election year of 1968,
will be able to effectively deal
with these problems, which will
grow more unmanageable the
longer we try to ignore them.
House - Senate conferences. It
also enabled me to fight for long-overdue
projects for New York
State, including 21 flood control,
beach erosion and navigation
projects, funds for the
Cortland Fish Hatchery, planning
funds for a new soil - plan and
research laboratory at Cornell,
extension of the Hyde Park Library,
and construction and site
acquisition funds for six badly-needed
post offices, Federal
Steve Florio, manager of Gim-bels
in Massapequa Park, reported
to police a larceny of JJQ
to 49 car coa^ s from tne store.
Value of the loss is estimated
at $ 900.
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Farmingdale OBSERVER, Thursday, January 4,
Assemblyman Martin Ginsberg
strengthen the state's Juvenile Obscenities Law m ^ 1 " " " ™ * -
JSTv i motion pictures, magazmesandbooks. aU conference held
recently wUli Nassau County District Attorney William CahiuGfo*-
ter « is^ prepaX legislation to tighten the obscenity laws wttfafa
^ t o l b u S r 2 t by the United States Supreme Court in recent rulings,
« ' KOTON
BAR HARBOUR SHOPPINGCENJ€ R
MASSAPEQUA PARK, '
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