Your editorial criticizing efforts to change the name of the Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services contains an important factual inaccuracy that was not your fault.

The Associated Press story you used as the foundation for the editorial was wrong. Instead of costing $8 million, the costs are estimated by the House Appropriations Committee's fiscal analysis to be around $1 million, and may well be absorbed into the new Department of Human Services regular operating budget. This is from the report: "The department has estimated total state costs to be approximately $1 million a portion of the costs delineated by the department can be absorbed within existing budgets."

If it costs our state government $4 million per word to change the name of one its departments, then something is seriously wrong with our government's IT system.

The fact is, by the committee's conservative cost estimate — making an important change, to rid thousands of hard-working Pennsylvanians who require human services, not welfare, of the stigma associated with the word "welfare" — is less than four-thousandths of 1 percent of our total state budget. Yes, that's less than four-thousandths of 1 percent.

It is past time Pennsylvania stops calling hard-working retired widows who need long-term care, or young adults with intellectual disabilities, or mothers and their children who survived an abusive situation, as "Welfare." They are humans who need services.



Executive director

The Arc of York County