While a moratorium is the only truly effective means to protect people from the harmful consequences of gas drilling, we should not afford this safeguard to only a fraction of our population. Our legislators need to ensure the health and safety of all of our fellow Pennsylvanians and extend the moratorium to include the entire state.
Sara Clark, Wycombe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Quick action to protect children
The idea that Pennsylvania's legislature is moving so slowly to reform laws related to child sex abuse because "child-welfare advocates have urged lawmakers to show restraint" is both idiotic and naive ("Pa. sees balancing act on new sex-abuse laws," July 1). Our organization and many other advocacy groups have not been urging restraint.
As for the legislation passed in 2005, "outraged" state lawmakers did not push that bill through. One heroic legislator, Dennis O'Brien, led that effort and all of us dragged legislators kicking and screaming to do the right thing. Why were they resisting? For one thing, they were being lobbied incessantly by both the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the Insurance Federation.
The assertion that victims' groups "learned ... the hard way" in 2005 about the risks associated with passing laws quickly is beyond comprehension. Those changes made the successful prosecution of Msgr. William Lynn possible. His conviction will have profound national impact on how institutions handle reports of abuse. The idea that the laws passed in 2005 were somehow problematic is simply ridiculous.
We need more of the quick, courageous action of the sort exhibited by State Reps. Mike McGeehan and Louise Williams Bishop, who forced Rep. Ron Marsico to act on bills he had been blocking in the House Judiciary Committee for years. The time to protect children is long overdue.
John Salveson, president, Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse
More health-care reform needed
The continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act has the potential for much good and much harm. What happens to our health-care system depends upon how the following questions are answered:
(1) Who will see the newly insured patients who used to go to ERs? We currently do not have enough primary-care doctors to see them.
(2) What will happen to the states (whose budgets are very tight) when the federal authorities reduce their subsidies for Medicaid expansion, and what will happen to the people in the states that decline to expand Medicaid?
(3) What will happen to health-care prices as demand curves shift but the supply curve does not?
(4) What kinds of services (effective and efficient or not) will the newly insured (especially those on Medicaid without co-pays) demand?
I hope the ACA is only step one of a long-needed reform process. Only time will tell if our leaders have the wisdom and fortitude to take the steps needed to improve our health-care system.
Michael D. Rosko, professor of health-care management, Widener University, Chester, email@example.com