Wrong policy

The editorial "Better to accept health law" (Sunday) says, "There's is no denying that Obamacare is the right policy." The right policy for whom? Insurance companies? Big Pharma? Both are getting enormous taxpayer subsidies through the Affordable Care Act, but working Pennsylvanians will never see from these poor policies the affordable and high-quality health care they deserve.

Two years after Obamacare became law, families have seen premiums for insurance coverage increase by 24 percent since 2008, or $3,065, when the president promised premiums would drop by $2,500.

In addition, the ACA proposes to add hundreds of thousands to Pennsylvania's Medicaid rolls without adding a single doctor. The quality of care for low-income families on Medicaid - which is already below the quality that those privately covered receive - will suffer further under these conditions.

There is a better way. Lawmakers should give power back to patients and stop tying health insurance to a person's job. Each of us deserves this control; even those on Medicaid deserve the opportunity to manage their own health-care dollars.

Resistance to Obamacare isn't just about the price tag; it's about creating a health-care system where affordable care for all is not just a talking point, but a reality.

Elizabeth Stelle, policy analyst, Commonwealth Foundation, Harrisburg

Election reform

My answer to Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi's proposal to allocate Pennsylvania's 20 Electoral College votes on a proportional basis would be this: Sure, when Republican Texas (38 electors) does.

If we are going to reform or do away with the Electoral College, all of the states, or at least all of the big states, have to agree to do the same thing at the same time.

Otherwise, Pennsylvania becomes an unimportant backwater on the landscape of presidential politics so white, elderly, thinly scattered, rural Republicans can feel good about their votes counting.

Instead, why not pass the National Popular Vote bill, which would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the United States? The measure has already been enacted by states possessing 132 electoral votes, including California and Illinois.

Jodine Mayberry, Brookhaven

Right term

It would be helpful if the Republicans would stop using the euphemism "job creators" instead of the more accurate term: "wealthy" ("Obama, Boehner trade new offers," Wednesday). While the people to whom they are referring are undeniably wealthy, they are not necessarily job creators. Some are gold hoarders. Some are oil speculators driving up the cost of oil to consumers. Others are Wall Street paper manipulators who bear a strong resemblance to gamblers using other people's money. Remember, Bernie Madoff fit the Republican definition of job creator, as did the executives of the ill-fated Lehman Bros.

Joseph Springer, Southampton, MrJSpringer@aol.com

Good business

In "Hiring disabled is good business" (Dec. 3), former Gov. Tom Ridge accuses employers of "hastily prejudging" a U.S. Labor Department proposal to require federal contractors to set a 7 percent hiring "goal" for people with disabilities.

Representing the chief human-resource officers of more than 300 major corporations, the HR Policy Association strongly disputes his characterization of the business community reaction. Our members most assuredly share his goal of making the hiring of individuals with disabilities a priority, and all of them have made proactive efforts to achieve that goal. Our concern is the manner in which the department would enforce its requirement - effectively making a "goal" a "quota" - and critical details in the proposal.

For example, the 7 percent "goal" would apply to each job group within the company. Also, employers would be required to invade applicants' and employees' privacy by repeatedly asking them - with no ability to verify their response - if they have a legally defined disability, something many would consider none of the employer's business.

As we and other business groups have repeatedly stated, we would welcome the "constructive dialogue" that Ridge invites, and would encourage him to take a leadership role in getting the department to agree to this.

Daniel V. Yager, president and general counsel, HR Policy Association, Washington, dyager@hrpolicy.org

PLCB rules

Give Wendell W. Young IV credit ("No PLCB games," Dec. 1). His inventiveness in explaining why the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is essential seems to know no bounds. Now he tells us that school kids, seniors, the homeless, and the disadvantaged are counting on us to continue shopping at those tired and uninspired state-run stores. Wow. What's next? That if we move the retail liquor business into the 21st century, it could mean the end of Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny?

Pennsylvania is one of the few states that operates a monopoly retail liquor sales. I'm just thankful the state doesn't control all of the retail beer business. Thankfully, I can go to places like Wegmans to find a great selection at attractive prices.

Dan Colbert, Chalfont, dnc1863@gmail.com