Wrong steward for health care

I am a pediatrician in Philadelphia, and I oppose the nomination of U.S. Rep. Tom Price as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Price has voted against expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers nearly 170,000 children in Pennsylvania. He has vigorously opposed the Affordable Care Act, and he voted against the Mental Health Parity Act, which expands mental health and addiction treatments. He has voted to undermine women's access to vital care, and he has voted against the rights of the LGBT community. If Price does not believe in ensuring health care for so many Americans, how is he qualified to run an agency with a mission to "enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans"?

Price is a surgeon, but in failing to consider the mental and physical health of children, the disabled, women, and members of the LGBT communities, he has abandoned his ethical oath. I urge our representatives to oppose Price's nomination and consider someone committed to improving care for all Americans.

|Kate E. Wallis, M.D., Philadelphia

Our future is at stake

I recently visited Mumbai, India, a city that lives continuously in the shadow of smoke and smog, and it was that attack on my health that raised my concern for the future. The effects of air pollution in unregulated megacities is real, and it disturbs me that this will be the fate of American cities and citizens if we do not accept scientific facts and take progressive measures to end our environmental irresponsibility.

It is additionally concerning to hear Scott Pruitt, the nominee for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, consistently deny what devoted professionals have scientifically concluded is happening to our country's environment. As a direct cause of human negligence and greed, we are endangering ecosystems and will subsequently threaten the health of American society. Americans have a right to clean air, pure water, and the protection of natural resources.

I support Sen. Bob Casey's opposition of Pruitt's nomination and urge Sen. Pat Toomey to side with science and Pennsylvanians who want clean air and water by also rejecting him.

|Christopher Rios, Philadelphia, chrisrios712@gmail.com

Accent the positive for a day

For one day - pick one, any one - could the Inquirer get behind Donald Trump as a gesture of unification? There has been enough rancor, divisiveness, and pettiness expressed on your editorial and opinion pages and by your columnists and readers in the last several months. Give us just one day of positive news. Surely you can think of something good to say on, perhaps, Inauguration Day.

|Nancy Simons, Chadds Ford, nflphd@aol.com

Dems' boycott is for decency

A letter writer believes that the decision of Philadelphia Reps. Bob Brady, Dwight Evans, and Brendan Boyle not to attend Donald Trump's inauguration was based on petty grievances and will cause the Trump administration to exact revenge on the city ("Dems' boycott will hurt Philly," Thursday). On the contrary, their decision was about a concern for basic human decency, civility, and the fundamentals of our system of government - all of which Trump has given every indication that he does not respect. Furthermore, since Hillary Clinton received 82 percent of the vote in Philadelphia, the representatives are reflecting the views of their constituents.

What would truly be petty would be if Trump sought to damage Philadelphia because he felt disrespected by the absence of its representatives from his inauguration. Given his past conduct, one would expect him to act in that precise way.

|Bill Fanshel, Bryn Mawr

Grow up and support America

The inauguration of America's 45th president is not about the person assuming the office. It is about the orderly transfer of governmental power. It proves to everyone that we, the United States of America, have the greatest form of government in the world.

Shame and disgrace on the area Democrats who choose to boycott this event. If the Russians or any other country tampered with our election process, then this childish display of no-shows will signify that they have succeeded. This immature behavior will send the message that our government is fractured.

To Reps. Bob Brady, Brendan Boyle, Dwight Evans, and the rest of you who were elected by the people in the Philadelphia area to represent us: Go into your closets, put on your big-boy pants, act like men, and support the government of the greatest country in the world.

|William D. Markert Jr., Philadelphia