Good afternoon. Here’s a look at today’s opinion content:
• In an editorial, we comment on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The significance of Sunday’s commemoration, we write, was made all the clearer by the arrest of four teens who allegedly threatened people with aluminum bats on Saturday in the Orthodox Jewish enclave of Monsey and by the discovery of anti-semitic graffiti at Peck’s Pond, a park in West Haverstraw, where vandals painted the word “Jews” with a red slash through it. That graffiti was discovered on Saturday night.
• Writing a Community View today, Westchester County transportation commissioner Lawrence Salley outlines and defends a plan to eliminate the BxM4C, a Bee-Line express bus that transports commuters from the Central Avenue corridor to Manhattan. Eliminating the route, part of County Executive Rob Astorino’s attempt to plug a projected $166 million deficit in 2011, would save the county $2.6 million.
• Matt Davies addresses the Nuclear Security Summit in today’s cartoon.
• Sunday’s editorialis now available online. It was held because it comments ona print exclusive from reporter Candace Ferrette that profiles the Westchester Cares Action Program. An initiative of Medicaid managed-care provider Hudson Health Plan and the state Department of Health, the program aims to coordinate the care of 250 of the neediest Westchester residents. In our editorial, we write that we hope the program can succeed:
“The Westchester initiative is discussed in staff writer Candice Ferrette’s Sunday Journal News article about Medicaid’s so-called “frequent fliers.” These “fliers” aren’t globetrotters; they are the highest users of Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor and people with disabilities. As Ferrette reported, 4 percent of Medicaid enrollees nationwide are responsible for nearly 50 percent — yes, 50 percent — of all Medicaid spending, according to a 2007 study. The pilot program developed by the state Health Department, in tandem with managed-care provider Hudson Health Plan, aims to do a better job of coordinating health-care services used by the 250 highest Medicaid users in Westchester — both to improve their health and reduce costs.
“Under the initiative, the state pays Hudson Health $330 a month for each person enrolled in the Westchester Cares Action Program; the money pays for nurses, social workers and case managers to work closely with clients to help solve problems that stand in the way of improved health. That may mean getting drug addicts to support groups, getting diabetics to test their blood sugar, or getting those with bipolar disorders to stay on medication. Why put up such fuss? Helping struggling people stay healthier also keeps more people out of emergency rooms, the costliest care going.”