A call to protect these programs
August means Ag Progress Days (APD). At this year’s event, there was a sense of urgency as many attendees are in the midst of an economic crisis brought on by depressed commodity prices. Consequently, several conversations during APD centered around the cost of providing health care for families.
We currently have a solid health care system thanks to Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In fact, many rural residents depend upon it. As a cancer survivor, I have a pre-existing condition. Before the ACA, it would have been difficult for me to get and maintain coverage.
Further, my daughter was life-flighted as a newborn because of seizure syndrome and incurred significant medical costs. Thanks to the ACA, we no longer need to worry about a lifetime cost limit in our health plan. The ACA prohibited that.
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My daughter, now a healthy college student, can stay on our health care until she’s 26, another measure provided by the ACA. I have lived most of my life on our family’s farm. When I speak with neighbors, health issues are often mentioned. It is essential for families, farming and not, to have the peace of mind that health care security brings.
So, let’s protect ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid, and not undo them for a single-payer governmental program, because in many ways, the current system works. I urge our officials to fix what needs fixing and not “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”. - MeeCee Baker, Juniata County
Amidst all the hands wringing over the Piazza incident, can someone tell me why the University opens parking at 8 a.m. for a football game that starts at 8 p.m.? As anyone with a police scanner can attest, there are incidents all night of students with alcohol poisoning. Do we really need 12 hours of tailgating? - Joseph Korsak, State College, PA
‘Runoff into our groundwater’
The new Whitehall Road Regional Park proposes what water experts have said never to do: Locate intensive development — in this case a sports complex -- directly up-slope of water supplies. In this case, the Harter-Thomas wells that provide drinking water to thousands of Centre Region residents.
What will result? Runoff into our groundwater. From the grass fields: insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. From artificial turf, if it is used: plastic microparticles, cleansers, and disinfectants.
The wise choice would have been to reserve this spectacular open land for “passive” use: green space, walking trails and natural areas for everyone. That’s what, overwhelmingly, the community has requested, and it’s not too late.
But if Parks and Rec is determined to place ballfields here, rather than where they belong, commonsense steps could lessen the cost -- and the damage. 1. Do not bulldoze the eastern portion, with its woods and fields, but reserve it for passive use. 2. Keep fields — grass only -- on the western portion, and grade less. 3. Relocate and reduce roads and parking to improve safety and runoff, and reduce costs. 4. Build the lighted artificial-turf field at another of the Region’s parks, or at the new Nittany Valley Sports Centre. 5. Plan and budget for turf management that eliminates or greatly reduces harmful runoff. Let’s protect our water and land, even as we provide sports fields. - Randy Hudson, Ferguson Township