June 28, 2004

Primary Care
Many of the doctors listed in “The Best Doctors 2004” [June 14] are private physicians who no longer accept most insurance plans. This leaves a large gap in care for both uninsured and under-insured patients. Unfortunately, the list overlooked the many federally funded community health centers, where excellent medical care is available regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.
—Danielle Milano, Manhattan

There are many excellent general internists and younger physicians who do much of the heavy lifting of providing care. What a potential patient needs is an extensive, well-researched list of capable internists, pediatricians, ob/gyns, and psychotherapists throughout the metro area, not a beauty contest of specialists.
—Lawson A. Moyer III, Manhattan

Right To Vote
New Yorkers can bash Bush all they want, but it is Congress that appropriates and spends the money [“Bush to New York: Here’s Your $20 Billion—Now Drop Dead,” by Ryan Lizza, June 14]. New York has elected mostly Democratic representatives and two Democratic senators at a time when the Republicans are in the majority. We have only ourselves to blame that we are not getting back our fair share. Wake up and pull the Republican levers for Congress this November, even if you have to hold your nose to do so! Otherwise, stop complaining.
—Tom Nesser, Rochester, N.Y.

Ryan Lizza’s story about how the Bush administration has gutted essential programs for New York City is full of mayoral memos, letters, and reports as well as quotes from unnamed mayoral aides. What it doesn’t have is one on-the-record remark from the mayor or his office that is critical of the Bush administration. The promise of a Republican mayor was that he would be able to work with a Republican White House to get things done for the city. In fact, just the opposite has happened. In every tough fight, he’s been as silent as he is in Lizza’s piece.
—Congressman Anthony D. Weiner, Ninth district, Queens and Brooklyn

Class Reaction
Robert Kolker’s “What It Takes” [“Class Action,” June 14] hammers away at New York City public schools. However, I can say after spending 33 years in high schools, including ones on the Lower East Side and South Bronx, I have never met a teacher who is “too busy breaking up fistfights to care about any single kid.” Furthermore, having frequently visited Evander Childs, I have met many dedicated students and have never been concerned for my safety. Finally, in my years at a high school in the South Bronx, we sent many students to Ivy League schools. So let’s not beat up on the schools that are trying to make the best of what are often near-impossible situations.
—Jay Gurka, Bayside

Correction: The allegations in “Cityside: MoMA and the Mob” (by Anthony Haden-Guest, June 14) that Ernest Muscarella had “doubtless been talkative” to the government and that the “boss rats out his juniors” were based solely upon the author’s speculation and were in error. Muscarella’s plea was not based on cooperation with the government.

June 28, 2004