Letters To The Editor 4/10/2019

April 10, 2019

Give business relief

Editor: Act 43 of 2017 ushered in a new and complicated tax withholding obligation with significant administrative costs for Pennsylvania businesses.

It requires businesses to withhold Pennsylvania income tax from nonemployee compensation, business income payments and lease or rental payments of $5,000 or more to nonresidents.

The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants supports House Bill 926, sponsored by Rep. Keith Greiner, a Lancaster County Republican and certified public accountant. His bill would help alleviate the hardship borne by small businesses related to these new state 1099-MISC reporting requirements.

Greiner’s proposed legislation would provide more clarity to existing law.

House Bill 926, which is pending in the House Finance Committee, would mitigate a business’s liability for good faith compliance with the withholding provisions as well as consolidate withholding, remittance and reporting provisions. Act 43 of 2017 expanded costly reporting requirements with respect to when a business has to file a federal form 1099-MISC to report Pennsylvania source income with the Department of Revenue, even if no Pennsylvania personal income tax withholding was required.

The PICPA Committee on State Taxation, which helped write House Bill 926, applauds Greiner’s efforts to help make Pennsylvania a prosperous environment for small-business owners.






Health study’s impact

Editor: The MyCode Community Health Initiative program sets Geisinger apart from other health care systems.

This genomic study, one of the world’s largest, is important in furthering community health in Northeast Pennsylvania by improving diagnoses and management of disease.

The choice to participate is the decision of individuals. There is value and contribution to the community resulting from it, yet some are hesitant to learn if they are at risk for certain conditions before they show symptoms. The only likely risk of contributing a sample is stress. Geisinger provides access to information and genetic counseling. People can withdraw from the project at any point.

In 2013, Geisinger set up a subcommittee to find out if enrolled participants would want to know if the results of their genomic sequences revealed increased risk for disease. Participants in the subcommittee decided they would want to know any information from their genomic sequences. It could be argued that researchers are ethically responsible to return all results, yet Geisinger’s MyCode policy is to inform participants only if the patient’s genome shows clinically actionable results. It is important to consider that while treatments may be available and actionable, they may not be affordable. Additionally, many participants from the support group stated they would like to know about genomic results even if no clinical actions were available. It may be beneficial to have options included in the consent form to allow patients to choose what type of information they receive from their genomic analysis.

While Geisinger’s MyCode presents a great opportunity for patients to be involved in a community health initiative to help further scientific discovery and clinical health care, people should consider the consequences of such knowledge, what might or might not be done with information and the impact on their family.




Editor’s note: The writers are students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Plenty of experience

Editor: Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote recently that Pete Buttigieg’s youth, energy, and exuberance may garner young supporters and media buzz and must be taken into account when we choose the next president.

If Buttigieg is elected president in 2020, he would be the youngest at 38. While age may bring wisdom, it is not the primary determiner of great leadership.

Struggle and sacrifice are often core experiences that shape great leaders. Abraham Lincoln’s leadership was shaped by the hardships of losing his mother at a young age, scraping an existence on the American frontier, educating himself and developing a fierce determination to achieve his goals. Lincoln suffered the immeasurable personal loss of two children and the deteriorated mental state of his wife, Mary Todd. Lincoln’s resolve to keep the Union together during the Civil War was forged through the personal hardships he endured on his way to the presidency.

Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest president at 41, was born to a life of privilege but endured bronchial asthma as a child, leaving him isolated for most of his youth as he struggled to overcome his affliction. Through grit and dedication, Roosevelt overcame his physical affliction. However, he again suffered when in 1884, his young wife. Alice, and his mother, Martha, both died. A hardened resolve to push through incredible loss and suffering helps forge great leaders.

Buttigieg served in the Navy Reserve in Afghanistan, steered his economically downtrodden city of South Bend, Indiana, toward recovery is an openly gay leader in a country still working to achieve equality for LGBTQ people.

Buttigieg’s lessons in leadership were cemented in combat service and civil service. He has more experience in both arenas of leadership at 37 than President Trump has at age 72.