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Letters to the Editor

Save for children’s education

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As state treasurer, I oversee Pennsylvania’s tremendous PA 529 College and Career Savings Program, a program that will be better than ever before thanks to legislation that passed the state House unanimously this week. HB 1267, co-prime sponsored by Rep. Pat Gallagher, will help Treasury manage PA 529 even more effectively by updating state law to fully accommodate federal changes made to 529 plans.

Over the past 30 years, PA 529 plans have helped families pay for $5.6 billion in higher education expenses. Today, there are nearly 284,000 accounts with $6.5 billion saved.

PA 529 plans offer great tax benefits and can be used to pay for the training and education our next generation needs to succeed in today’s workforce – like training at our amazing community colleges, technical schools and apprenticeship programs as well as degree programs at the many outstanding four-year colleges and universities in Pennsylvania.

Federal changes made in 2018 now allow 529 plans to be used for K-12 education. PA 529 families are already taking advantage of this opportunity – using more than $118 million to pay for K-12 education so far.

Families interested in the PA 529 program can visit pa529.com to learn more.

Empowering families to save for their children’s education has always been bipartisan. Thanks to Rep. Gallagher’s leadership and the support of all of his colleagues in the House, it continues to be.

Stacy Garrity

Pennsylvania Treasurer

Access to Alzheimer’s treatments now

As Board Chair for the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter, and former caregiver for my grandmother, access to treatments that can meaningfully change the course of this disease for people living with early Alzheimer’s is critically important – both to me, and to those in our community who are impacted.

On Jan. 6, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration approved lecanemab, now Leqembi, using the accelerated approval pathway. But now months later, despite unequivocal evidence confirmed by the scientific community, bipartisan support from 94 members of Congress and urgent requests directly from those living with Alzheimer’s, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is still refusing to change its decision, and it continues to block access to FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments.

Never before has CMS imposed such drastic barriers to access FDA-approved drugs, especially for people facing a fatal disease.

Here in Philadelphia, with the Alzheimer’s Association, I call on Congressman Boyle to urge CMS to provide full and unrestricted coverage for FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drugs, ensuring individuals living with Alzheimer’s have equitable access to these treatments.

Bill Mikus

Board Chair

Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter

Wake up from wokeness

I remember those days after 9/11 when our Congress stood together on the steps of the Capitol singing God Bless America.

Today they might be singing We’re In The Money, from the old film, 42nd Street. Patriotism is scoffed at.

Our border is broken, our culture under attack, drugs, criminals and their sex slaves crossing at will. Democrats and most Republicans just shrug their shoulders — too much money to be made in cheap labor.

The “Twitter” files ought to alarm everyone. Indeed our 2020 election was “stolen.” The FBI even had an election team to crush the truth and protect the Bidens. Corporate media has blacked out the story.

We are now in a war with Russia — let’s not deny it. Has the president gone to Congress and asked for a “declaration?” Tell me, why are we fighting in Ukraine when we need troops at our own borders? Maybe it’s those big defense contracts.

When “bad old Nixon” was president, the media were alarmed that there were 1,200 lobbyists in Washington. Today there are over 20,000 — and nary a peep from the talking heads who have much of the lobbyist money. China. (Our real threat, not Russia.)

I don’t like politics. I am a man who loves art, culture and history. But I can’t even study our great Founding Fathers without reading that I must be a racist, and that the Constitution is no longer relevant.

I’ve not been religious (but I am now). When people stop believing in God, they become their own Gods. “Thou shall not steal,” has become, “Thou shall not get caught.” This happens when you see yourselves as a “ruling class.”

The Marxist poison that has taken over our politics – at all levels of govt., the vast administrative state, the constant stoking of race issues, the sexual perversities that now target children – is destroying our nation.

Most people just don’t seem to care. They want their TV football, potato chips — and free stuff from the government, even as its debt explodes. If I could offer a prayer for 2023, it would be that the American people wake up from wokeness, and find morality again. Maybe even crack open that dusty old Bible, and see how civilizations end.

Richard Iaconelli

Rhawnhurst

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