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Letters to the Editor - Millerton News - 4-12-18

Wrong Rx

As many of you know, the Pine Plains Pharmacy (and McCarthy’s in Stanfordville) are being threatened by the advent of Express Scripts as the only way for teachers and staff at the school to get their prescriptions now. This clientele makes up about 65 percent of the Pine Plains Pharmacy’s business and will be a death blow to the business. Losing this valuable business will be a terrible blow to Pine Plains. There are 16 independent pharmacies in all of Dutchess  County, though I’m not sure if they all participate in the health care consortium for county school districts.

Town Hall is monitoring this situation closely in connection with County Executive Marcus Molinaro’s office, and learning something new every day. In a nutshell, the problem is as follows: the school union made the decision to buy insurance in a consortium of 25 members called the Dutchess Education Health Insurance Consortium (DEHIC). This means that collective bargaining came into the picture. Collective bargaining supercedes our state law that requires health insurance companies to allow individuals to choose their pharmacies.

The savings quoted by the DEHIC as the excuse for going to Blue Cross/Blue Shield and mail-order  prescriptions (insisted on by Blue Cross/BS) is a little upwards of $2,000,000. Divided by 25, that’s around $80,000 per school district. (One mid-level administrator’s salary.) The Pine Plains School District has a budget for 2018-19 of around $32,500,000. 

Weighed against the loss of two small businesses, which each serve thousands of people as well as hold the centers of two towns, we find this savings to be far more costly to all in the long-run. These are important businesses to the town, as are their owners as citizens. They help attract people to the town to live. The more students we lose in our schools, the more we are at risk of having to merge with Webutuck, which would result in the closing of some or all of our schools. This seems short-sighted of the school union at best. Ultimately they will lose far more than they will gain.

Please feel free to share this information, and know that as we learn more about the situation, we will update everyone. Note that to let DEHIC know how you feel, you can email comments to christina.mark@dcboces.org.

Darrah Cloud

Town Supervisor

Pine Plains

 

Distressed

Recently, I was watching the news. It showed a scene of a black man being arrested by two white police officers. They had him on the ground punching his face several times. When will this racism and violence come to an end?

Linda McKee

Millerton