With his proposed Healthy PA plan, Gov. Corbett has found an innovative way to expand health insurance coverage without raising taxes and without expanding the already unsustainable Medicaid program ("Pa. health-care plan gets an airing here," Jan. 4). That's critical for Pennsylvania's growing senior population and their care providers.
One in five state residents is age 60 or older; by 2020, it will rise to one in four. Two-thirds of the frail, elderly men and women in skilled nursing centers are on Medicaid, and for each one of them Medicaid under-reimburses providers $26 a day - or $9,500 a year. This shortfall is threatening access to care for seniors, as some nursing centers simply cannot afford to care for every senior who needs it. Healthy PA expands health coverage while protecting those already on Medicaid.
Paul McGuire, vice president of operations, Genesis Healthcare, Kennett Square
Re: Jeff Gammage's excellent coverage of Philadelphia's unfortunate carriage horse situation ("Reining Dilemma" (Jan. 3, don't any of the local, profit-minded experts profiled in the article realize that, thanks to their quotes, the city comes off looking fairly bad?
Their antiquated stance on this particular form of slavery is as disturbing as it is obscene.
So long as Philadelphia remains willfully unevolved, while other places move ahead, it will also remain a second-rate city.
The ninth grade classes I teach recently finished an assignment on “Role Models,” as they relate to mental health and self-concept. They identified their role model(s) that they wished to emulate and the qualities that inspired them. In general, I was moved and surprised while it renewed my faith (once again) in their maturity — they are more grounded than we give them credit.
Many accounts were intimate. relating relatives, enduring, sacrificing, and supporting them despite the hardships of single parenting, surviving cancer, and working hard with dependents to achieve in education and career. They named celebrities also, but not for their wealth or fame; instead they admire those who have talent, overcoming difficult circumstances to be successful, and individualism without allowing the criticism (“haters”) to keep them down.
I always begin by giving them a role model or two of my own. Besides my father, my other go-to person is Fred Turoff, presently the lame-duck Temple University (TU) men’s gymnastics coach of 38 years at the helm and 6 as the assistant, when he was my coach‘71 through‘76. I explain to them that “Fred” was altruistic, smart (physics major), hard-working, and very capable of doing most anything he chose for considerably more money, but instead he decided to pursue his dreams to make the Olympic team and coach. He sacrificed and persevered. However, injuries and a younger wave of hotshots proved to be too much to overcome. One day working out together, I told him I would beat him on Pommel Horse, and he responded that it would be the greatest compliment for him to have one of his gymnasts beat him. He has had a love and passion for gymnastics and coaching that never abated over the years and he passed that along to his gymnasts.
Jihad Jane got a 10-year term, but I wonder if she would have gotten a stiffer sentence if she were a Middle Eastern man rather than a blonde-haired white woman.
After all, some of the men sitting in Gitmo for 12 years (and counting) are said to be much less guilty than she is.
Mary Shaw, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Penn State fans are taking delight in piling on Bill O’Brien, who left Happy Valley for a pro coaching job with the Houston Texans (“O’Brien exit leaving fans blue,” Jan. 2).
Well, give the man a break. He appears headed for a successful career in politics, or, at the least, as a guest contributor for a neocon news program.
Consider that he failed to honor a commitment and fled for a better opportunity. (A certain former governor of Alaska did the same thing.)
Evan Feinberg’s commentary stating that young people are and should be avoiding the purchase of health insurance is misleading at best and political propaganda at worst (“Millennials aren’t buying it,” Dec. 29).
He fails to mention that his organization, Generation Opportunity, is a Koch-funded group that advocates that young people opt out of Obamacare. With his commentary, it is obvious that Feinberg’s primary motivation is to reduce participation by young people in the health-insurance marketplace, which in turn would sicken the pool, forcing higher premiums for all who participate, and ultimately triggering the failure of Obamacare. This cynical distortion encourages young people to take a potentially life-altering gamble to further a right-wing political agenda.
The Inquirer should properly identify the sources of articles it publishes so that readers can accurately identify a rant from an hyper-partisan idealogue being passed off as a reasoned point of view. (By the way, employees of Generation Opportunity are afforded health insurance as part of their benefit package.)
I wish members of Congress during their holiday break from Washington DC had done a little self-education.
If so, they would have taken the same Food Stamp challenge that Mayor Nutter, other politicians and many local residents took a year ago.
The challenge takers lived for a number of days on the amount of food stamps the average recipient gets. They experienced fatigue, depression, hunger. Of course, since then, benefits have been cut further, and recipients are dealing with further threats of cuts ("'Heat and Eat' cuts might hit hard").
Mark Zandi's optimism about Dodd-Frank reforms (Currents, 12/29) of the financial system are not well taken.
As we speak, efforts to weaken the Volcker Rule -- by reducing or eliminating the differences between workable (QRM) and less workable mortgages (QM), by loosening the restrictions on investment banking to deal with the very derivatives that forced banks to accept government bailouts, by allowing banks to risk client money in other banks' risky securities (even if they are not allowed to trade in their own accounts). Zandi's confidence that banks have huge capital cushions is brought into question by banks like Zions Bancorp, who were counting on valuing their failed investments in mortgage backed securities at full value, when many of those same investments had no prospects of being anything more than worthless pieces of paper.
Consumers are not cheerful, indeed. Our unemployment figures in this country count only those making claims for unemployment insurance.