Burdening the American people with billions of dollars in health bills will not spur economic growth. A healthy economy begins with a healthy population.
Hillary Gordon, Philadelphia
City's one-party system is broken
While I am a proud and lifelong Democrat, I'm an even stronger believer in freedom, democracy, and choice. When City Council members minimize sweetheart contracts and are contemptuous of public opinion, it is a clear byproduct of not having an effective Republican Party in the city.
If Philadelphia had a strong two-party system, political opponents could make incumbents pay for their misdeeds at the ballot box. For voters, having one party effectively available to them is no choice at all. It is ironic that while we all celebrated the end of a one-party system in eastern Europe 20 years ago, we accept a one-party system in Philadelphia for decades without complaint.
William M. Dingfelder, Bala Cynwyd
City leaders tolerate scandal
It is bad enough that state Rep. Dwight Evans seems to think that he can manipulate city contracts to his advantage. I am not naive enough to think that these things don't happen. What is really disgusting is the fact that some City Council members condone this practice and feel that it is simply politics as usual. What ever happened to the concept that public funds should be used for the best options available to those who pay them? This seems to be just another case where a public servant is abusing the power that is entrusted to him and the abuse is sanctioned by those who are supposed to care about the people of the city.
Mike Krakovitz, Drexel Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org
New law needed for 911 calls
Regarding Kevin Riordan's column, "After overdose death, family works toward a legal change," (Thursday):
If Sal Marchese had suffered a heart attack instead of the overdose that ended his life, a witness on the scene wouldn't have thought twice about calling 911. The chance of surviving an overdose, like that of surviving a heart attack, depends on how quickly you receive medical attention. But when illegal drugs are involved, the fear of police involvement often means the victim never receives help. Instead, they are left to die alone.
In New Jersey, 752 people died of an overdose in 2009. How many would be alive today if someone had picked up the phone and called for help?
A Good Samaritan law in New Jersey would encourage overdose witnesses to call 911 by granting limited immunity from drug-possession charges. New Mexico, Connecticut, Washington, and New York have already enacted the policy. On this anniversary of Sal Marchese's death - just one out of hundreds every year - the time has come for New Jersey to realize punishing behavior should never outweigh saving a life.
Jessica Corry, Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey, Ewing
Racism accusation won't work
Does Melissa Harris-Perry ("Obama faces a white flight," Tuesday) honestly believe that accusations of racism will shame white voters who are disappointed with President Obama into voting for him? Will she make the same accusation against black voters who stay home in 2012? I plan to hold my nose and vote for Obama against the Republican menagerie of anti-intellectual, financial-bubble creators. That will not stop me from criticizing the president and his party for betraying my trust.
Ben Burrows, Elkins Park