Philly DA's office is under siege

Following the indictment of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, honesty and integrity need to be restored to the DA's office. But a new and possibly more nefarious type of corruption has emerged.

A political action committee backed by billionaire George Soros is trying to buy the DA's office on behalf of civil rights lawyer Larry Krasner by spending $1.45 million on the Democrat's primary campaign. Because of the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, this massive injection of money is legal, but it is corruption nonetheless, and the integrity of the office is being undermined. It sends the message that the DA's office is for sale. We must do much better than this to clean up the office.

|Dan Gordon, Philadelphia, dangordon95@gmail.com

Hughes not helping city students

State Sen. Vincent Hughes' suggestion that State House Speaker Mike Turzai "fix the school-funding issue or stay the hell out of Philadelphia" is an unfortunate way to advocate for students ("Hughes to Turzai: Stay out of Phila. schools," May 3).

Fewer than one in five city students are proficient in math and reading. Meanwhile, demand for charter schools is so high that parents enter lotteries, in which more than 9,000 applicants vie for fewer than 100 spots. Why? Because many charters are great for Philadelphia kids - especially low-income minorities.

Hughes, who since 2010 has received more contributions from government union political action committees than any other state legislator, toes the teachers' union line on education issues: more taxes, more spending, same broken system.

This approach has not helped the district, which already receives more state aid per pupil than the statewide average.

The facts are clear: expanding education options is right for Philadelphia families, no matter how angry it makes Hughes.

|James Paul, senior policy analyst, Commonwealth Foundation, Harrisburg, jdp@commonwealthfoundation.org

Any GOP plan better than ACA

House Republicans were right to pass the American Health Care Act because of the complete and utter failure of Obamacare to achieve any of its stated objectives ("What prognosis?" May 5).

Obamacare has not resulted in "universal" coverage, as many chose to pay the penalty rather than be forced to buy an inadequate insurance product that they didn't need or want. Additionally, many of the newly insured are in Medicaid, an insurance program that can't demonstrate that its outcomes are better than having no health insurance at all.

Neither medical-care costs nor insurance premiums have decreased since the passage of . the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare and the state exchanges are imploding, as insurers exit an unprofitable market. Many counties across the country have only one insurance provider on their exchanges. Premiums and deductibles skyrocket come every enrollment period.

I prefer a market-based approach that fits the needs of individual consumers. A single-payer, government-run plan or dumping more people who aren't poor into Medicaid is no solution. Will any eventual repeal-and-replace bill passed by a Republican Congress be better than Obamacare? That's difficult to say. But it can't be any worse.

|J. Robert McMahon, Chester Springs

What about those most in need?

The Republican health-care plan would remove $800 billion from Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled.

My brother had a major stroke eight years ago. He cannot walk, his speech is limited, and he cannot care for himself. He must live the rest of his life in a nursing home. He spent his savings on his care in a nursing home. When his money was exhausted, Medicaid began to pay for his care.

If the Republican plan is enacted, there may not be enough Medicaid funding to pay for his care. What will he do? Where will he live? How will he get care?

Since this is the plan of Sen. Pat Toomey's party, I would like him to send me a detailed plan outlining the care and funding source for my brother. What about the hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country? What is Toomey's plan to care for them?

It is easy to vote to cut funding for the most vulnerable in our society. Toomey must not abandon them.

|Steven R. Cohen, Southampton

Pre-Obama economy not so hot

In his commentary on the Trump administration's tax plan, Sen. Pat Toomey said, "Accepting a net tax cut of this magnitude would simply restore us to the pre-Obama levels" ("Congress must seize chance to pass pro-growth tax plan," Sunday). Perhaps he is another politician who knows nothing of history or cannot remember the sorry state of our economy "pre-Obama."

|Maxine Schwartz, Willow Grove