It’s only the middle of July but some folks are already talking about the middle of summer. The Princeton Chamber held its “midsummer madness” marketing event this week. And we at U.S. 1 are already planning our Summer Fiction issue, coming Wednesday, July 23, and our midsummer break that occurs the next week, July 30.

Our office will be open that week, but the paper will not be printed on Wednesday, July 30. Our regular schedule resumes on Wednesday, August 6. In the meantime we expect some calls from writers wondering if their poem or story will be included in the Summer Fiction issue. The short answer, until the afternoon of Tuesday, July 22, is that we just don’t know. Come Wednesday morning, July 23, we will know and the answers will all be in that issue.

To the Editor: Family Health Plan A Good Start

With nearly 1.3 million New Jersey residents and five out of six Americans uninsured, and countless others significantly underinsured, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a bill that will help reform health insurance access and coverage in the state. S1557 will expand the state Family Care program to cover more children and their families. The bill will also create a mandate for health care coverage of children, and set forth market reforms that will bring younger people into the individual insurance market.

AARP has always believed that health insurance should be comprehensive, and, most importantly, affordable for all. The two amendments to S1557 will help expand health insurance access and coverage.

The first amendment of the bill creates a financial hardship exemption from Family Care premiums for families who cannot afford them. This provision will protect our low-income families from unaffordable financial burdens caused by Family Care premiums.

The second amendment expands the 15 percent insurance rate cap to current and new enrollees aged 55 or older in the individual insurance market. With more individuals losing coverage from their employers and seeking insurance coverage elsewhere, the individual market is the only option available. This amendment will help hold down annual premium increases.

Senator Joseph Vitale, the state legislature, and Governor Corzine should be commended for taking the initial step towards New Jersey health care reform. However, there are many more steps that lie ahead before affordable, comprehensive health care for all is achieved. Individuals, businesses, and elected officials must work together to make this dream a reality.

Sy Larson

State president, AARP

101 Rockingham Row,

Forrestal Village

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