Health plan must

have public option

There should be no compromise on creation of a robust public health-care option to compete with private insurers; it is too important.

President Obama supports this option as an important component of a universal health-care plan. If we permit a trigger option, which delays the creation of a public plan until it becomes apparent that insurance companies have not adapted and provided meaningful, affordable coverage, they will use this opportunity to continue to make huge profits and deny care until they are forced to change.

Now is the time to make health-care reform happen, and it will not happen without a public option to spur competition for efficient, effective, quality health care at an affordable cost. Bipartisan support for such a plan would be helpful, but not necessary, especially if it removes the most important piece of the proposed plan.

Cynthia Jones

Warminster

jonescyn@gmail.com

Diocese should pay

abuse victim

Re: "At 81, he's fighting church over allegations of abuse," June 11:

We write in support of Ralph White, who has told his story of suffering sexual abuse as an adolescent at the hands of the Rev. Gibson Bell, a prominent Main Line Episcopal priest. Last year, the Standing Committee for the Diocese admitted its failure to protect Ralph and published an apology on its Web site. But the diocese has refused Ralph's request for assistance with his many medical bills, saying it does not have the money.

Attorney Robert A. Wade, a good friend of ours and a man of principle and faith, has agreed to help Ralph, pro bono, to obtain some kind of trust from the diocese to help him in the last years of his life. We demand that the Episcopal Church do right by Ralph.

David and Debra Voytko

Pottstown

Can't cut services

that help the needy

Most thinking people would agree that we need to get the waste out of government, and stop corruption, friendship deals, use of public dollars for political purposes, and hiring of unqualified pols to assess property. No argument there.

But what services exactly do you think the state should cut in this year's budget? Services to autistic children? The Senate's proposal does that already. Services to persons who need mental-health and retardation programs? The Senate proposal does that, too. Slash Head Start? Children's health care? Cut library services in half? Early childhood programs? All cut in the Senate bill.

The Senate's proposal will make our huge waiting lists grow by leaps and bounds. We shouldn't forget that taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society.

Gerry Kaufman

Philadelphia

Do more to stop

foreclosures

Philadelphia's foreclosure modification program could be equally successful if required in all Pennsylvania counties.

The state's budget is very limited, but if we don't allocate more support for its Home Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, we will be facing the options laid out in the old Fram oil-filter commercial, "Pay me now, or pay me later."

Let's help people stay in their homes now, so the taxpayers aren't paying for services for those without a home later.

Mark Schwartz

Executive director

Regional Housing Legal Services

Glenside

Autism programs

are threatened

Time is running out to amend a Senate bill requiring New Jersey health insurers to cover certain autism therapy programs.

The legislation in its current form fails to cover effective and popular developmental therapies. Developmental therapy is quickly growing in this state, with numerous educators and others in the certificate program.

Failure to include this therapy in SB 1651 will limit access. Children with autism and their families will have fewer options to minimize the effects of autism.

Barbara Chillemi

Haddonfield

Senior workers

first to lose jobs

When companies downsize, especially large companies, those in charge do not care how indispensable or valuable you are as a worker.

The key reason jobs are lost is to reduce costs.  Inevitably, the first jobs to go are those most expensive to the company. These are the jobs of the senior workers, who have long-term pensions and benefits.

Les Cohen

Langhorne

State shutdown

would doom Corzine

What is significant about June 30? That is the last day Gov. Corzine has to sign off on a balanced budget for fiscal 2010.

Does anybody remember what happened back in 2006 when there wasn't a balanced budget by June 30? Corzine shut down all nonessential state services because he wasn't given a balanced budget that he could sign. What makes things much worse now is the recession that is adversely affecting the financial well-being of our federal and state governments.

Will Corzine do a repeat performance and shut down all nonessential government services if he doesn't have a balanced budget by June 30?

If he does, it would probably be the kiss of death for his reelection bid in November.

David M. Levin

Vineland