I am a parent of two amazing and wonderful disabled children who have benefited from the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid reimburses schools for special education services.

If Sen. Pat Toomey succeeds in passing a health care bill that cuts Medicaid, students with disabilities will be shortchanged on the education they need to live independently and hold a job. Medicaid enables my children to learn and grow, and it allows disabled people and their caregivers to work. Toomey's plan to cut our lifelines will only hurt us now and in the future.

Sadly, I have been leaving this message with the senator's office for months. He's either not listening, or is more intent on passing tax cuts to the wealthy. The ACA isn't perfect. Democrats have always said they would work with Republicans to fix it. I hope Toomey will go back to the drawing board.

Anna Perng, Philadelphia, anna.perng@gmail.com

Medicaid cuts would be immoral

Children make up 46 percent of the participants in Pennsylvania's Medicaid program. If the Senate health care bill cuts Medicaid funding and ends its expansion, coverage could be eliminated for more than 913,000 children in Pennsylvania who rely on Medicaid for basic health care.

As a pediatrician, I see these children every day. These are the newborns who are getting the preventative care they need to prevent early childhood death.

These are the toddlers who are getting vision and hearing screenings to ensure they can pay attention in classrooms and become productive members of society. These are the children who, through no fault of their own, were born with congenital disease and need ongoing care. These are the children who have asthma and will die without an appropriate controller medicine.

We live in the richest country in the world. To take these essential services away from our children is immoral and shortsighted.

Polina Krass, M.D., Philadelphia

Closed school a haven for vermin

Since the Robert Fulton School closed in 2013, the playground has become an illegal dumping ground that is overgrown with weeds and a haven for vermin and an eyesore. At some point, somebody set a pile of trash on fire. A utility pole appears to be on the verge of falling down.

I have sent written complaints to Bill Fox, director of real property management for the Philadelphia School District; the city Department of Licenses and Inspection; and Councilwoman Cindy Bass. I have received no response from any of them, and nothing has been done.

I want this mess cleaned up and the site secured, and since I have been ignored by the School District, L&I, and Councilwoman Bass, I decided my last resort was to expose the dereliction of their duties to the rest of the taxpayers in the newspaper.

Tom Durnell, Philadelphia, tdurnell1@aol.com

Speak up for working taxpayers

I know you will not print this, but here goes: The working taxpayer has to get up at least five days a week and plan his day around his job. That means doing what you have to, not what you want to.

The working taxpayer has to forfeit up to 40 percent of what he earns to taxes, depending on what tax bracket he falls into. He is not eligible for anything subsidized, such as food stamps, welfare, housing assistance, or Medicaid benefits.

As a matter of fact, he has to pay a portion of the cost of the medical benefits his employer offers. When he uses those benefits, they are subject to co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs that can range up to $10,000 annually.

Given all of this, give these people a pass when you blast them since they pay all of the freight and have virtually no say.

Anthony Zajko, Glenolden

Proud to still be a ‘Dead Head’

As he typically does, Michael Smerconish nailed it with his column lauding the Grateful Dead as America's band ("Grateful for America's band on the Fourth," July 2) Many of us have long felt this to be true. Yes, it has been a long, strange trip, but fortunately, members of the band keep pushing it further, despite the untimely death of Jerry Garcia.

I am proud to call myself a Dead Head, even though I got on the bus a bit late. My first show was in the mid-80s at the Spectrum. The music spoke to me from that moment on. For almost 10 years, I went to most shows in our region.

Unfortunately, the scene ultimately got out of hand and Jerry lapsed into his dependency on drugs. I wept at his death. But, his incredible legacy continues on in so many ways: through his bandmates still playing to the digital formats we, the faithful, can enjoy and share with our children.

Andy Schaum, West Chester, aschaum@comcast.net